MAURITANIA: VISITS BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE OPERATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE AND THE COORDINATOR OF THE SAHEL ALLIANCE FOR A STRENGTHENED PARTNERSHIP.
To strengthen the partnership with the Mauritanian authorities and the Executive Secretariat of the G5 Sahel, a Sahel Alliance mission took place from 20 to 24 October in Mauritania. The delegation was led by Mr Christoph RAUH, Current Chairman of the Operational Steering Committee (OSC) of the Sahel Alliance, Africa Director of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ), and Mr Adrien HAYE, Head of the Coordination Unit (UCA) of the Sahel Alliance. On the agenda: meetings with the authorities and members of the Alliance represented in Mauritania, launch alongside the SEG5 of the new G5 Sahel Financing Facility and visit of emblematic projects of the Sahel Alliance for the benefit of the Mauritanian populations.
In Mauritania, the members of the Sahel Alliance support the efforts of the authorities through the financing of 126 development projects, for a total amount of 1 billion Euros. This portfolio, which has increased by 10% between 2019 and 2020, focuses on the sectors of decentralisation and basic services (37%), agriculture and food security (23%) and education and youth employability (18%) – much higher than the rate observed for this sector in the other G5 Sahel countries.
The delegation began its visit with an important meeting with the new Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel (SEG5), Ambassador Yemdaogo Eric Tiaré. The two organisations are linked by a key partnership, sealed by a convention signed on 30 October 2018 in Niamey. This partnership constitutes the reference framework for the actions of the Sahel Alliance and is operationally declined with, for example, the rapid impact projects of the Emergency Development Programme (PDU), financed to the tune of 266 million Euros by our members and of which 7 of the 22 projects benefit Mauritania. The G5 Sahel Financing Facility, officially launched during this trip, is a new operational and concrete expression of the partnership between the SEG5 and the Alliance. With an initial budget of 50 million Euros financed by the BMZ, it aims to support projects in the G5 countries that serve vulnerable populations, stability and development. In his speech, C. Rauh recalled that this Facility, emblematic of the joint instruments that the Sahel Alliance promotes, was open to all and invited the members and partners of the Alliance to join it.
A strong partnership with the Mauritanian authorities
The Chairman of the Steering Committee and the Coordinator of the Alliance were received in audience by the G5 Sahel Minister in Mauritania, Mr. Ousmane Mamoudou Kane. Ousmane Mamoudou Kane, alongside the German Ambassador, Ms Isabel Hénin, and the spokespersons of the Sahel Alliance in Nouakchott, Ms Cristina Isabel Panasco Santos, Director of Operations of the World Bank for Mauritania, and Mr Jean-Marc Dewerpe, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation. The meeting provided an opportunity to salute the commitment of the authorities to the development dynamics of the G5 Sahel and the Sahel Alliance. The support of Alliance members in the implementation of the national strategy for accelerated growth (SCAPP) was also highlighted.
The series of meetings ended with a working session involving all Alliance members represented in Mauritania, who are strongly committed to providing a coordinated response and improving the living conditions of Mauritanians in a sustainable manner. In-depth exchanges took place on the various initiatives underway and made it possible to report on the mobilisation of members in favour of the populations of Hodh ech Chargui, through the implementation of the Integrated Territorial Approach (ITA) in this priority intervention zone and the preparation of the next round table in Néma.
Experiencing Mauritania’s socio-economic realities
The delegation also used the opportunity of its trip to Mauritania to visit several emblematic projects labelled Alliance Sahel and to exchange with their beneficiaries. It was thus able to assess the motivation and skills of young people undergoing technical training with the PECOBAT project. This project, which focuses on local materials and professional training in building schools, improves the employability of young people and the capacities of SMEs in the construction sector. In this framework, 245 young people benefited from training in 2020 and a new training centre, fully equipped and offering new specialities, is expected to open in the coming months. The delegation was also able to see the efforts made in the health sector, with the support of Alliance members, during a visit to the Dar-Naim health centre in Nouakchott. This centre, which contributes to the equitable access of the population to quality health care, will soon be rehabilitated with the support of the European Union and the Belgian cooperation agency ENABEL, within the framework of the 2nd phase of the Health Sector Support Programme (PASS).
Still in the field of protection of the most vulnerable, the “Support Project for the Social Nets System” led by Taazour, the General Delegation for National Solidarity and the Fight against Exclusion and co-financed by the World Bank, Germany and France, convinced the visitors by its relevance and efficiency. This initiative in favour of social protection in Mauritania has notably supported 210,000 poor households in 2021, as part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, who have benefited from cash transfers.
The delegation concluded its field visits with a trip to the Chami mining site, where more than 50,000 people work in artisanal gold mining. This project, financed by Germany (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ, strengthens the protection of human rights, the environment and work safety in this sector.
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