UN ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe has congratulated Mauritania for ratifying the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), as a major project for the region’s economic development.
Songwe spoke Tuesday in Nouakchott in an audience with the President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
Mauritania is one of the first countries to sign the AfCFTA documents, this shows that its President and government are convinced of the importance of regional integration, Songwe said.
During her visit, she met several ministers including the Prime Minister Mohamed Salem Ould El Bechir, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismaël Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the Minister of Economy and Finance Moctar Ould Diay and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Khadijetou Mbareck Fall.
Topics discussed included the use of innovative financing investment mechanisms to strengthen key sectors such as energy or mines; the use of ICTs to streamline administrative processes to improve the national Doing Business ranking, and improved public finances and debt analysis to consolidate the country’s macro-economic and fiscal policies.
Other topics included employment, economic diversification, the building of a national, digital ID system for a better social inclusion and distribution of growth benefits in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals and the implementation of the African Women Leadership Fund initiated by ECA in 2018 in favour of Mauritanian women.
Ongoing ECA projects in Mauritania include the rebasing of the GDP in accordance with SCN 2008, support for the drafting of the first National Voluntary Review, and an upcoming competitiveness study to be carried out as part of ECA’s support for the implementation of the AfCFTA.
Songwe also met the UN country team and discussed options for an improved coordination of UN projects in Mauritania.