Executive Summary

Mauritania is stuck in a capacity trap with horizontal inequalities across ethnic lines. The state’s limited capacity to provide basic public services, coupled with persistent inequalities, undermine its legitimacy and authority. Ethnic bias persists in all spheres of life. Discrimination targets Afro-Mauritanians and Haratine, while Beydane dominate the political sphere and occupy most elite government and military positions. This report provides the European Development Fund (EDF) with an analysis of key drivers of fragility in Mauritania, proposing policy options to reduce the country’s fragility in both the short- and longterm. Analysis focuses on trends and events relevant to the next six months (December 2018 to May 2019), within a longer-term context. Three policy recommendations are proposed for EDF to target drivers of fragility: supporting reforms for transparency in governance and election monitoring, supporting agricultural development in the poorest provinces of the country, and supporting justice system reforms.

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