Political relations between Germany and Mauritania are good. Germany is seen by Mauritania as a reliable partner. Its engagement there focuses on development cooperation. Federal Minister Gerd Müller visited Mauritania in November 2016. The visit by a German Bundestag delegation in March 2019 underscores the quality of bilateral relations at the parliamentary level as well.
The volume of bilateral trade is modest. Germany’s principal import from Mauritania is iron ore and its main exports to the country are machinery and motor vehicles.
The total number of international donors engaged in Mauritania is relatively small. The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, based in Kuwait and China, is the most important donor, followed by the EU, the Islamic Development Bank, the World Bank, Spain and Saudi Arabia. Other European bilateral donors include France and Germany.
German development cooperation focuses on the areas of environment policy, the protection and sustainable use of natural resources (including fishing), democracy, civil society and public finances. The issues of vocational training and employment also continue to play a role in cooperation. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has an office in Nouakchott.
Culture and education
There are only around 500 Mauritanians studying in Germany (mainly engineering subjects). Mauritania has received funding under the Federal Foreign Office’s Cultural Preservation Programme to help digitise recordings of traditional music and preserve ancient manuscripts.