Germany and Mauritania have enjoyed good bilateral relations since Mauritania gained its independence in 1960, yet high-level visits are rare. Federal Minister Gerd Müller visited Mauritania in November 2016. In March and October 2019, Bundestag delegations travelled to the country, followed by a visit by Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence Thomas Silberhorn in November 2020.
Development cooperation is a key component of bilateral relations. The focus is on peace and societal cohesion, vocational education and training, and environment and natural resources. Alongside bilateral development cooperation, the Federal Government is also working to promote Mauritania’s stability and development through regional cooperation, in particular within the G5 Sahel and Sahel Alliance, for example in the police sphere. The key players when it comes to implementation are Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) which has an office in Nouakchott and international experts working in the country. Furthermore, Germany is contributing to development cooperation activities under the auspices of the European Union and the international financial institutions and to humanitarian assistance granted by UN agencies.
The volume of bilateral trade is modest. Germany’s principal imports from Mauritania are raw materials (88%) and its main exports to the country are foodstuffs, motor vehicles and machinery.