Harnessing Natural Wealth for Sustainable Development: A Mauritania Case Study


Mauritania, often hailed as the jewel of West Africa, is on the threshold of an economic revolution, fueled by its vast natural resources and innovative approaches to sustainable development. This nation’s journey toward economic prosperity is underpinned by a diverse array of natural assets, from significant oil and gas fields unveiled by seismic surveys along the coastal basin over the past two decades to the thriving fisheries sector and monumental mining operations. Such developments not only position Mauritania as a magnet for foreign investment but also lay the groundwork for a sustainable economic model that integrates global market integration with environmental stewardship.

The initiation of pioneering projects, such as the phosphate processing plant and ambitious ventures into green hydrogen, signal Mauritania’s commitment to leveraging renewable resources for sustainable growth. These endeavors are emblematic of a broader shift towards sustainable development strategies that prioritize both economic advancement and environmental sustainability—a theme echoed in the literature on natural resource management and sustainable development (Mishra, 2010; Sawyer, 2006; Worm et al., 2006).

Mauritania’s approach to harnessing its natural wealth, particularly through the exploration of green hydrogen projects and the modernization of its mining and fisheries sectors, represents a microcosm of the larger global discourse on sustainable development. This discourse increasingly emphasizes the need for integrated strategies that address the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of development (Costanza et al., 1997; MEASR, 2006). As Mauritania endeavors to become a leading exporter of natural gas and green hydrogen, it is imperative to consider the long-term implications of such developments on the country’s ecosystem services and the broader environmental challenges facing our planet (Petit et al., 1999; Flannery, 2005).


  • Économiste et Consultant Indépendant en Gestion des Risques Financiers, MSc (Master 2 Recherche) - Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France.

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