Country and Port Information

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Country Information

Location: Mauritania lies on the Atlantic coasts of West Africa and is bordered by the Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali and Senegal.

Area: 1,030,700 sq. km

Capital: Nouakchott

Population: 2,9 million (approximately)

Languages: French, English, Hassaniya Arabic, Wolof, Pulaar, Soninke

Religion: Islam

Government: Republic

Currency (-ies): Mauritanian Ouguiya (MRO)

International direct dialling code: 00 222

Time: GMT

Public Holidays: 1st January, 1st Mai, 25th Mai, 28th November

Working days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday

Working time: from 8.00am to 04.00pm

History: Independent from France in 1960, Mauritania annexed the southern third of the former Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) in 1976, but relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. Opposition parties were legalized and a new constitution approved in 1991. Two multiparty presidential elections since then were widely seen as flawed, but October 2001 legislative and municipal elections were generally free and open. Mauritania remains, in reality, a one-party state. The country continues to experience ethnic tensions between its black minority population and the dominant Maur (Arab-Berber) populace.


Port Information

The Autonomous Port of Nouakchott, PANPA for short, is located near the West African Atlantic coast and offers competitive storage facilities and warehousing tariffs. PANPA welcomes 60 vessels corresponding to 6000 TEUS (20’Containers) per annum. 40,000 tons are handled by liners vessels and 80,000 tons by charters every year.

Nouakchott port is an import port representing approximately 96.4% of all annual traffic. Imported goods include oilfield materials,wheat, cement, clinker, flour, sugar, semolina, milk and general equipment. Exports include plaster, animal skins and fish

Port of Friendship      
Quay No 1 all cargo 148m length 9.5m draught
Port of Friendship      
Quay No 2 all cargo 169m length 9.5m draught
Port of Friendship      
Quay No 3 all cargo 190m length 9.5m draught

Forthcoming: project of Quay No 4 schedule on 2006


Formerly known as Port-Etienne, this port is located in the North of the country, close to the borders of Morocco. The economical base is fishing and fish-processing, but also exportation of iron that is transported with the railways from central Mauritania.

Nouadhibou point central

280m lenght    16.5m draught

Nouadhibou SOMIR / MEPP

280m lenght    13m draught