This profile is also available in French here.
To download a pdf version of the full 2023 Mauritania country profile, click here.
Despite the pandemic, economic growth in Mauritania increased by 2.3% in 2021 as a result of higher private consumption, investment, and service sector performance. The annual rate of inflation, as measured by the national consumer price index, increased from 2.4% in 2020 to 3.6% in 2021.income levels and employment.
The Mauritanian government said in December 2021 that the nation’s unemployment rate had increased to over 37%, or roughly 500,000 people. This is a very high number, which makes finding affordable housing even more difficult. Despite the fact that 56% of the workforce is employed in the informal sector, their pay is poor and variable.
The value of net outstanding loans for microfinance institutions was UM682 000 000 (US$18 756 789), a 28% increase compared to 2020. an increase that can be attributed to the increasing unemployment rate and difficulties the population faces with regards to gaining access to affordable housing and/or finance.
The average annual expenditure of urban households in Mauritania is UM234 665 (US$6 393). Urban households allocate about 20.4% of their resources to housing expenses. The expenditure is significantly higher in areas of Nouakchott (UM223 890 or US$6 158).The rising expenditure by urban households, added to high unemployment and low wages, means housing in Mauritania becomes less affordable on average.
Because of the limitations on the building industry, including untrustworthy businesses, missed deadlines, and shifting costs, the real estate sector in Mauritania is not highly established. This prevents meeting the time, money, and technical commitments to sponsors and clients. This has a negative impact on the housing supply.
In terms of supply, which remains a major issue for the housing market, however, semi-modern housing accounts for 92.48 percent of housing units in urban areas, and informal housing makes up 4.87% of the housing stock.
In terms of climate vulnerability and its impact on affordability, Mauritania is hampered by a scarcity of building materials as well as a harsh climate that causes materials to deteriorate quickly. Other major challenges affecting housing include desertification and water scarcity, which result in habitat loss as the population is forced to seek out more habitable areas in the long run.
Finally, there is an opportunity to provide more Islamic microfinance products, as some people have cited religion as a reason for not taking out microfinance loans. This targeted approach can also benefit the informal sector.
Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Mauritania, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:
- Access to Finance
- Housing Supply
- Property Markets
- Policy and Legislation
- Availability of Data on Housing Finance
- Green Applications for Affordable Housing
- Additional Sources
Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2023 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.Download yearbook
Mauritania is one of the largest countries in Africa and is largely desert. It has high a rate of urbanisation, with 56.1% of its 4 775 110 inhabitants agglomerated in the coastal regions of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou, the two largest urban centres. The rapid population growth in Nouakchott was driven by a long series of droughts that impelled a rural-urban migration. Mauritanian urbanised areas are characterised by low-density development, including considerable undeveloped open spaces. This is due to a cultural preference for detached single-family houses on large tracts of land. The city’s infrastructure and buildings, especially in the rapidly growing peri-urban areas, are threatened by sand dunes advancing from the east. Furthermore, a sizeable part of the city of Nouackchott has been built on areas that have always been known to be prone to flooding. Due to human pressure and climate change, these areas are now increasingly at risk.
In 2021, socio-economic crisis began, a crisis that continues because of soaring prices and the poor performance of the government, whose actions are increasingly criticised. Despite the pandemic, growth rebounded by 2.3% in 2021 thanks to an increase in private consumption and investment, as well as an improved performance of the services sector. In 2021, inflation measured by the national consumer price index rose to an annual average of 3.6% against 2.4% in 2020. The nominal exchange rate of the Ouguiya appreciated by an annual average of 0.7% against the dollar.
Nevertheless, the country remains vulnerable to shocks such as security risks in the Sahel region, the protracted conflict in Ukraine and drought, which could lead to reduced economic activity and increased poverty. The Mauritanian economy is heavily dependent on extractive industries, including oil and mines. Foreign investment in the mining and oil sectors have driven the country’s economic growth in the recent years. The country’s economy is subject to price swings in world commodity markets because the export of its mineral resources make up about three-quarter of its total exports. Fisheries significantly contribute to the country’s economy, accounting for about 15% of budget revenues and 45% of foreign currency earnings. The formal rate of unemployment is 10.3%.
Mauritania is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The country is suffering a severe drought and three quarters of the land is desert. Its climate is characterised by high temperatures for a large part of the year, as well as by the scarcity of rainfall, and its topography by the dominance of plains and sand dunes, resulting in poor vegetation cover. The resulting threat to the small fraction of arable land is a major cause of food insecurity.
Key environmental challenges such as desertification and water shortages will result in the loss of habitat as the population will be forced to search for more habitable areas. Within the framework of its African Disaster Risk Financing Program (ADRiFi), The African Development Bank provides financial assistance to Mauritania to subscribe to an insurance policy indexed to the risk of drought and to enhance the resilience and response to climate shocks in the country by improving the management of climate disaster risks.
 Nations Online. Mauritania. https://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/mauritania.htm (accessed 23 September 2022)
 World Bank (2021). https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ SP.URB.TOTL.IN.ZS ?locations=MR (Accessed 22 July 2022).
 World Bank (2021). https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ SP.POP.TOTL ?locations=MR (Accessed 22 July 2022).
 USAID and U.S. Geological Survey. Case study: Nouackchott: Urbanization at the gates of the desert. West Africa: Land Use and Land Cover Dynamics. https://eros.usgs.gov/westafrica/case-study/nouakchott-urbanization-gates-desert (Accessed 24 September 2022).
 Les ateliers (2015). Nouackchott, l’avenir pour defi, Adaptation et mutatiton d’une ville vulnerable. Synthese de l’atelier Nouackchott, Mauritanie. février 2015. https://www.ateliers.org/media/workshop/documents/nouakchott_fr.pdf (Accessed 24 September 2022). Pg.11
 Sneiba, M. (2022). Mauritanie: fin de la treve politique. 4 mai 2022. Afrimag.net. https://afrimag.net/mauritanie-fin-de-la-treve-politique/ (Accessed 18 July 2022).
 World Bank (2021). https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG ?locations=MR (Accessed 22 July 2022).
 Banque Centrale de Mauritanie (2022). Rapport Annuel 2021. Rapport sur l’exercice 2021. 15 Juin 2022. https://www.bcm.mr/IMG/pdf/rapport_annuel_2021_v-fr.pdf (Accessed 12 September 2022). Pgs.10; 23; 24; 50; 55; 57; 58.
 Banque Mondiale (2022).Rapport sur la situation économique en Mauritanie : Le secteur privé au centre de la transformation économique et de la création d’emplois. 21 Juin 2022. La banque mondiale. https://www.banquemondiale.org/fr/news/press-release/2022/06/21/afw-mauritania-economic-update-2022-the-private-sector-at-the-center-of-economic-transformation-and-job-creation (Accessed 18 July 2022).
 CountryReports. Is Mauritania a rich country? https://www.countryreports.org/country/Mauritania/economy.htm (Accessed 24 September 2022).
 World Bank (2017). Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) (national estimate) – Mauritania. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/%20SL.UEM.TOTL.NE.ZS%20?locations=MR (Accessed 23 July 2022).
 AfDB (2022). Perspectives économiques en Mauritanie. Groupe de la banque Africaine de Development. Perspectives économiques en Mauritanie. https://www.afdb.org/fr/countries/mauritania/mauritania-economic-outlook (Accessed 24 July 2022).
 Leclerc, J. (2022). Linguistic planning in the world, Quebec, CEFAN, Laval University. 22 April 2022. https://www.axl.cefan.ulaval.ca/afrique/mauritanie.htm (Accessed 23 July 2022)
AfDB (2022). Mauritania – Africa Disaster Risk Financing Programme. 27 September 2022. https://projectsportal.afdb.org/dataportal/VProject/show/P-MR-A00-003 (Accessed 28 July 2022).
Access to Finance
Less than a quarter (22.9%) of the population makes use of the financial system in Mauritania and only 6.63% of the population in urban areas have access to credit. Religion is among the reasons often cited for not accessing credit. Mauritanians are essentially Muslim, and Islam forbids charging interest rates on loans.16 However, most banks in the country offer credits products in line with Islam, such as the Murabahas. Therefore, lack of access to credit for most of the population is mainly due to their poor creditworthiness. The lack of, or low level of, income prevents them from meeting the minimum requirements for a bank loan. There is no difference between men and women for the odds of accessing credit. The proportion of women who bank in Mauritania is 15%.16
The Mauritanian financial system includes 18 banks that provide residential mortgage as well as Murabahas.8 The interest rates charged on mortgages varies between 5.6% and 13%. The loan repayment period can go up to 15 years. The bank finances 60% of the housing loan and the remaining 40% is financed by savings.
The value of outstanding loans for the construction sector decreased by 11.4%, from UM8.020 billion (US$220 571 034)11 in 2020 to UM7.103 billion (US$195 352 229)8 in 2021. Lenders do not report data disaggregated by gender.
The number of microfinance institutions (MFIs) increased to 30, with the addition of two MFIs in 2021.8 Most MFIs are small and are often regrouped in formal networks or federations.11 The value of net outstanding loans for microfinance institutions was UM682 000 000 (US$18 756 789), a 28% increase compared to 2020. CAPECs or savings and credit cooperative unions hold 35% of this total, while the share of other institutions represents 65%. Outstanding loans distributed by MFIs as of the end of 2021 represented 1% of the total loans of the banking system.8
MFIs offer products and services such as loans, savings, cash transfers as well as some Islamic products, including the Murabaha. The interest rates charged on these microcredits vary from 15% to 24%. The effective interest yield, that takes into account additional fees applied to credit and the repayment plan, is often higher than the indicated nominal rate.8 Because of the lack of long-term financial resources that MFIs require for medium-term credits, most loans issued do not exceed a 12-month repayment period.8
Mauritanian MFIs do not offer specific loan products to support access to housing. This is mainly due to the lack of a sufficiently large loan offer and a recovery period compatible with the capacities of savers and the management requirements of MFIs. Nor have they developed financial products for housing renovation. A few of these loans are granted for social needs or consumption. Most loans are granted to the trade sector. One example of housing microcredit is the “Beit el Mal” from the Tizwe programme. The methodology used for the distribution of this type of loan is that of classic solidarity credit, that is, a Twize solidarity group of five to 10 people. This loan is granted for 30 months, with monthly repayment of the capital at the interest rate of 12% a year. Furthermore, households can use an informal financial system composed of tributary family financing systems, tontines, usurers, and dealers to finance buying or building a housing unit.16
Created in 2019, the Credit Information Bureau (BICR) aims, among other things, at improving the access of good customers to the best financing conditions, through the collection, processing and analysis of data on the credit and payment history of Mauritanian consumers. The BICR provides financial system actors in Mauritania with detailed, accurate and reliable information on the creditworthiness of loan applicants to make the credit market more competitive and to reduce the rate of outstanding loans for better financial inclusion.10
 Bouasria, M., Ashta, A. and Ratsimalahelo, Z. (2020). Bottlenecks to Financial Development, Financial Inclusion, and Microfinance: A Case Study of Mauritania. Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 13(10), 239. doi:10.3390/jrfm13100239 https://www.mdpi.com/1911-8074/13/10/239 (Accessed 28 August 2022).
 Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance. Muraba. https://www.islamic-banking.com/explore/islamic-finance/shariah-rulings/question-answers-shariah-rulings/murabaha (Accessed 27 September 2022).
 Banque Populaire de Mauritanie. Tamouil Seken (Financement immobilier – habitat). https://www.bpm.mr/fr/TAMOUIL-SEKEN-(FINANCEMENT-IMMOBILIER-HABITAT) (Accessed 29 July 2022).
 Creusot, A-C. (2002). Le financement de l’habitat social: la présentation de l’étude de cas Beit el Mal en Mauritanie. Microfinancement. http://microfinancement.cirad.fr/fr/news/Bim/Bim-2002/BIM-07-05-02.pdf (Accessed 18 August 2022).
Although almost 80% of the population own their homes at the national level, only 65% of households in urban areas are homeowners and 26% are tenants.26 This could be, among other things, the result of the housing policies pursued by the State for several years, which aim to provide a roof over the head of every Mauritanian citizen by facilitating the acquisition of land for residential use (sometimes free of charge).
The proportion of the Mauritanian population below the poverty line, estimated at UM19 089 (US$525) a year, was 28.2% in 2019; 4.5% of the urban population lives below the extreme poverty line. Despite a relatively low prevalence of poverty in urban centres, the conditions of the poor in Nouakchott, particularly in the peripheral districts, are characterised by high relative disparities. The Gini index is estimated at 0.29 for urban areas, a little under the 0.32 Gini index for the whole country. In December 2021, the Mauritanian government revealed that the unemployment rate in the country had reached almost 37%, or approximately half a million people. The informal sector employs more than 56% of the working population, in generally precarious and low-paid jobs.
Urban households allocate about one fifth (20.4%) of their resources to housing expenses. The average annual expenditure of urban households is UM232 465 (US$6 393). The average expenditure is higher for households in Nouakchott (UM223 890 or US$6 158), Tiris-Zemmour (UM223 635 or US$6 150), Guidimagha (UM215 345 or US$5 923) and Dakhlett Nouadhibou (UM207 015 or US$5 693).21
 ANSADE (2021). Tendances de la pauvreté monétaire et des inégalités en Mauritanie. Enquête Permanente de lutte Contre la Pauvreté (EPCV )2019-2020. https://ansade.net/fr/tendances-de-la-pauvrete-monetaire-et-des-inegalites-en-mauritanie/ (Accessed 12 August 2022). Pg.7 ; 12-14; 23
 Sahara Media (2021). Le gouvernement mauritanien : 37% des mauritaniens sont au chômage et nous avons créé 150 000 opportunités d’emplois. 16 December 2021. Sahara Media. https://fr.saharamedias.net/le-gouvernement-mauritanien-37-des-mauritaniens-sont-au-chomage-et-nous-avons-cree-150-000-opportunites-demplois/ (Accessed 19 August 2022).
 ILO (2019). State of skills – Mauritania. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_emp/—ifp_skills/documents/genericdocument/wcms_742225.pdf (Accessed 16 August 2022).
 ANSADE (2021). Tendances de la pauvreté monétaire et des inégalités en Mauritanie. Enquête Permanente de lutte Contre la Pauvreté (EPCV )2019-2020. https://ansade.net/fr/tendances-de-la-pauvrete-monetaire-et-des-inegalites-en-mauritanie/ (Accessed 12 August 2022). Pg.7 ; 12-14 : 23
Mauritanians prefer ordinary or standard houses: more than half of households (about 57%) live in this type of dwellings. Out of necessity rather than preference, the second type of housing produced is huts and sheds, in which 34% of the population live at national level. In urban centres, 71% of housing produced is ordinary/standard houses. Mauritanians have not yet fully adopted villa-type dwellings (0.2%) and flats in a complex (0.3%).Buildings are often limited to one floor, and only sometimes two storeys, in residential areas. High-rise buildings are uncommon and are mainly intended for large companies or administrations.32
In terms of quality, most housing units produced are semi-modern, that is they are built with semi-durable materials and offer a minimum level of comfort. Semi-modern housing accounts for 92,48% of housing units in urban areas whereas only 4.87% is informal housing.26 Women, 21.6%, seem more likely to occupy informal housing than men at 18.3%.
Low-income Mauritanians, who do not have the means to build housing units that meet formal requirements, often resort to self-building. This does not solve the housing problem, as 34% of households live in slums.
Building techniques are rudimentary and do not involve qualified technicians and architects. The housing units built are fragile, and are often poorly laid out and flimsy. Owing to the lack of quality materials and the Mauritanian climate, building materials tend to deteriorate rapidly and these housing units quickly become dilapidated.
In urban centres, 42% of the roofs are made of concrete and 29% of zinc. Cement appears to be the most popular building material in urban centres as about 70% of the walls are made of cement; furthermore, cement is also used for 46% of floor covering. The materials used for the construction of informal settlements include a type of clay mixture called “banco,” wood, and branches and mats for walls; cloth mats and tarpaulins for roofs; and mud and/or banco for floor coverings.
Asphalt, clinker, cement, iron, steel and cast iron for buildings and basic infrastructure are the most important construction materials in Mauritania. Most are imported. Cement is imported from Spain or Belgium. The other materials needed for cement concrete are found locally (sand and shells).28 In 2021, the year-on-year increase in the index for labour cost was 20.8% and 13.5% for construction materials. Cement is priced at UM5 349 ($147) per tonne.
Implemented within the framework of the urban restructuring of Kebbe El Mina, the Tizwe programme supported slum improvement through promoting access to permanent housing. The programme included the production of housing units, affordable micro-loans for housing, the training of professionals in the construction sector, and the support of a series of micro-projects.
Rapid urbanisation, poorly regulated by the public authorities, has hindered the development of public amenities such as energy, water, sanitation, and transport needed to accommodate the growing population in urban centres. The most common mode of water supply for drinking is piped water, with 27% of households having a connection in the house or yard. Sanitation problems include disposal of household waste and wastewater. Most households use carts to dispose of waste (35%) or simply dispose of it in the street (28%). About 42% of households do not have toilets in their homes. Twenty percent of homes with toilets do not use flushing connected to a septic tank. Electricity powers 41% of household lighting .27
 ANSADE (2013). Office Nationale de la Statistique (ONS). (Recensement Genereal de la Population et de l’Habitat (RGPH) 2013. Ménages et conditions de vie. http://ansade.mr/images/RGPH2013/Volume4_M%C3%A9nages%20et%20conditions%20de%20vie_RGPH_fr.pdf (Accessed 8 September 2021). Pg.34
 Office Nationale de la Statistique (ONS) (2013). Recensement Générale de La Population et de l’Habitat (RGPH) 2013. Bureau Central de Recensement (BCR). Chapitre 11 : Caractéristiques de l’habitat. Pg. 6.
 Hardy, M. (2017) Le Secteur du Bâtiment Mauritanien : Enjeux, Orientations et potentiel de réforme : Architectures et Matériaux durables, formations adaptées et Emplois décents. Organisation internationale du Travail. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—africa/—ro-abidjan/—ilo-algiers/documents/genericdocument/wcms_558531.pdf (Accessed 17 August 2022). Pg. 21; 39.
 ANSADE (2021). Tendances de la pauvreté monétaire et des inégalités en Mauritanie. Enquête Permanente de lutte Contre la Pauvreté (EPCV )2019-2020. https://ansade.net/fr/tendances-de-la-pauvrete-monetaire-et-des-inegalites-en-mauritanie/ (Accessed 12 August 2022). Pg. 7; 12-14; 23.
 Banque Centrale de Mauritanie (2021). Rapport annuel 2020. Pg. 23.
 Mansion, A., Rennart, C. and Rachmuhl, V. (2014). Retours sur le programme Twize en Mauritanie. Agir par projet pour fabriquer la ville ? Retours sur l’expérience du programme Twize. Centre Sud – Situations Urbaines de Développement. http://www.citego.org/bdf_fiche-document-827_fr.html (Accessed 20 August 2022).
Land in the urban areas has become a profitable source of income in the informal sector. Legal access to land is difficult, both in rural and urban areas. In addition, readying a plot of land for use is extremely expensive. One form of land price speculation is buying plots of land at a high price from beneficiaries who do not have the means to develop them or build on them. Another is the transfer of occupancy permits before development (permitted by the 2002 law). However, irregular buyers will never obtain a land title, which is necessary to access a bank loan for construction or land acquisition. Such speculation has multiplied after the state distributed plots of land in urban areas to disadvantaged Mauritanians (in the gazras). The plot recipients, not having the means to develop their plots, sold them.28
The Ministry of Housing, Urban and Regional Planning (ISKAN) announced the digitisation of a land allotment plan that will be available on its website. The aim is to enable each customer to verify the accuracy and legality of his or her land. The only condition to obtain a copy of the allotment plan is to present a paper copy of the property certificate and a copy of the national identity card.13
The real estate sector is not well developed in Mauritania, thanks to the constraints on the construction sector: unreliable companies, missed deadlines and fluctuating prices. This does not allow meeting the financial, technical and time commitments to sponsors and clients.33
Many of the work opportunities in the construction sector benefit trained foreign workers. While the heads of companies, especially formal companies, are mainly Mauritanian, foreigners often form the bulk of the skilled labour force. Most Mauritanian workers in this sector are informal. In addition, the training structures do not cover certain construction specialities.
Informal real estate agents, who have no legal status, are plentiful. They offer to help acquire a plot of land in return for payment but the transactions are illegal. The land lots offered do not appear on any allotment plan; most are the result of falsified subdivisions from unrecognised rural properties that do not exist on urban subdivision plans. This practice is becoming more and more common in urban centres, notably in the northern and western areas of Nouakchott. 13
 Choplin, A. (2006). Le foncier urbain en Afrique: entre informel et rationnel, l’exemple de Nouakchott (Mauritanie). Annales de géographie, 647, 69-91. https://doi.org/10.3917/ag.647.0069 (Accessed 23 August 2022).
 Hardy, M. (2017) Le Secteur du Bâtiment Mauritanien : Enjeux, Orientations et potentiel de réforme : Architectures et Matériaux durables, formations adaptées et Emplois décents. Organisation internationale du Travail. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—africa/—ro-abidjan/—ilo-algiers/documents/genericdocument/wcms_558531.pdf (Accessed 17 August 2022). Pg.20; 38; 45
Policy and Legislation
Until the 1983 law governing land ownership, access to land was based on the traditional land tenure system. The 1983 law on land organisation, revised in 2000, reformed access to land ownership. The state now recognises and guarantees private property.33
Urban planning in Mauritania has long been abandoned. Nouakchott, home to almost a third of the urban population, continues to grow without a viable development plan to avoid the spread of slums and shanty towns. In September 2021, however, it was announced that a new subdivision plan, which would safeguard property rights and prevent falsification, would come into force for the city.
In response to the housing shortage and the difficulty of the poorest families accessing land, the Mauritanian government has launched several housing initiatives, particularly social housing. The first ever phase of public intervention, supported by SOCOGIM in Nouakchott, was aimed at the construction of housing estates. Although the initial housing estates were supposed to benefit modest households, the developer, SOCOGIM, prioritised the viability and profitability of the rentals and therefore targeted its marketing towards the middle and wealthy classes, particularly civil servants. The State has restructured its interventions in social housing through the Social Housing and Rural Habitat Department, which has been directly attached to the Minister’s office since 2008 and is in charge of piloting public social housing programmes.32
 Kane, C. 2022. Kassataya. 21 May 2022. Mauritanie : l’anarchie dans le secteur de l’habitat et de l’urbanisme ne date pas d’aujourd’hui. https://kassataya.com/2022/05/21/mauritanie-lanarchie-dans-le-secteur-de-lhabitat-et-de-lurbanisme-ne-date-pas-daujourdhui/ (Accessed 21 August 2022).
 Sahara Media. 2021. Mauritanie : mise en garde officielle contre l’obtention illégale de terrains. 12 October 2021. https://fr.saharamedias.net/mauritanie-mise-en-garde-officielle-contre-lobtention-illegale-de-terrains/ (Accessed 18 August 2021).
An opportunity exists in providing more Islamic microfinance products, as a portion of the population have cited religion as a reason for not taking microfinance loans.
Aside from this, opportunities exist in green building. Access to energy is a key element of the eco-construction sector. There is a need for off-grid equipment to complement a house or a collective building.
The supply of biodegradable, decarbonated, cheap, desert sand is an opportunity, particularly for the building industry. Abundant wind and sun make the production of renewable energy a viable option and can create green jobs.
 United Nations. Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development in Mouakchott (20200. https://www.unccd.int/news-stories/stories/conference-environment-and-sustainable-development-nouakchott (Accessed 23 September)
Availability of Data on Housing Finance
Data relevant to housing finance, such as the number of banks and institutions licensed to offer mortgage loans as well as the value of outstanding loans is published by Central Bank of Mauritania (BCM) in its annual report. However, the annual report for the previous year is only uploaded on the Bank’s website and made available to the public in September of each year.
Details on the typical size of mortgages offered by banks and the terms of payment are difficult to obtain except by visiting a branch in person. It is almost impossible to get this information remotely, either through phone calls or email. However, some banks allow loan simulations, which give an estimate of mortgage terms. Finding information on the property market from real estate agencies and property developers is also not easy.
The National Institute of Statistics publishes, quarterly, an index of the cost of construction, including the price of construction materials and cost of labour. Most data published by the National Agency of Statistics and Demographic and Economic Analysis (ANSADE) is disaggregated by gender. Data on climate change and its impact on affordable housing is difficult to obtain as most of the data available is focused on the impact of climate change on agriculture.
Green Applications for Affordable Housing
The use of local building materials is becoming increasingly common in Mauritania. Especially in the context of eco-construction. Eco-construction companies such as HABIDEM seek to solve the social problem of the lack of adequate housing in Mauritania in a climate and environmentally friendly way while creating ecological jobs for young people in rural areas. They use only local materials such as clay, sand, straw, and stone.
The city of Nouakchott is surrounded by dune strips with sparse vegetation. The region’s climate is arid and there are frequent strong sand winds from the north, threatening the infrastructure and many peripheral neighbourhoods with silting. In the absence of a restrictive land-use plans, urban expansion has taken place in areas at high risk of silting.5 In 1975, the Nouakchott Green Belt was created to protect the city from the encroaching sands. As the city grew beyond its boundaries, the Green Belt had to be extended in the 2000s.4 However, the fragile dune belt is gradually deteriorating. Large-scale extraction of sand to supply the town with building materials, as well as grazing and vehicle traffic, have led to the opening up of numerous breaches. In addition, the construction of a dyke at the Port de l’Amitié in 1985 blocked the sedimentary transit, thus causing a considerable retreat of the coastline towards the south and the disappearance of the dune cordon over some 10km.5
 World Bank (2019). Le potential de l’ecosysteme entrepreneurial Mauritanien. https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/859521576662532421/pdf/The-Untapped-Potential-of-Mauritania-s-Entrepreneurial-Ecosystem-Lessons-from-the-Entrepreneurs-Marathon.pdf (Accessed 23 July 2022). Pg. 20.
Central Bank of Mauritania bcm.mr
National Office of Statistics ons.mr
National Agency of Statistics and Demographic and Economic Analysis (ANSADE). ansade.mr
Ministry of Housing, Urban Planning and Development habitat.gov.mr/
General Directorate of State Property and Assets (DGDPE) domaines.gov.mr/
National company for land use planning, housing development, real estate promotion and management. (ISKAN) iskan.gov.mr/
Zeineddine, A. 2014. La résilience des villes sahéliennes face au changement climatique: etude du cas de la ville de Nouakchott (Mauritanie) https://digitalis-dsp.uc.pt/handle/10316.2/34863 (Accessed 19 July 2022).
Clémençot, J. and Spiegel, J. (2022). Mauritanie : Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani à l’heure des choix. Jeune Afrique. https://www.jeuneafrique.com/1361776/politique/mauritanie-mohamed-ould-cheikh-el-ghazouani-a-lheure-des-choix/ (Accessed 14 August 2022).
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