Canada - Mauritania Relations

Canada - Mauritania Relations

Bilateral relations between Canada and Mauritania are limited but growing, particularly in areas related to trade and security. In addition to cooperation within La Francophonie, Canada has partnered with Mauritania on counter-terrorism and regional security efforts, and offers support for its security sector. 

Since 2010, Canada has provided approximately $39 million in support of counter-terrorism capacity building initiatives in the Sahel region, of which Mauritania was a direct beneficiary. Canada co-chairs the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Sahel working group in which Mauritania is invited to participate in the meetings and training workshops. Canada and Mauritania also cooperate, in the multilateral context, in NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue.

In 2017, the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) contributed $40,000 to: improve the rights of women with an emphasis on countering early and forced marriage, gender-based violence (including victims of rape) and female genital mutilation.‎

In 2016, Mauritanian diaspora in Canada was estimated at about 1,000 people. In Mauritania, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Rabat, Morocco, and by an honorary consulate in Nouakchott which provides assistance in consular affairs. Mr. Ousmane Ba, Permanent Representative of Mauritania to the United Nations, has started his function as Mauritania’s Ambassador to Canada since November 2017. Mauritania also has Honorary Consuls in Montreal and Edmonton.

Commercial Relations

Trade relations between Canada and Mauritania are dominated by a strong presence of Canadian companies in the mining sector. Trade in goods and equipment between Canada and Mauritania is modest and undiversified. In 2016, our bilateral trade with Mauritania totalled $14.8 million, Canadian exports were $14.2 million and imports $549,773. Mauritania, presents business opportunities of interest to Canada in mining and education. The economy of Mauritania is largely based on agriculture, mining and fishing. In addition, the country relies greatly on foreign aid and multilateral funding to support economic development.

Canadian Programming

During the 2012 crisis in the Sahel, Canada provided $65.4 million to the region through UN organizations such as the World Food Program and UNICEF, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Canadian non-governmental organizations, to support food and nutrition assistance to people in need. Canada helped improve access to food and provided lifesaving nutritional support through a number of activities, including the distribution of emergency food rations, supporting community-based treatment of acute malnutrition, and improving access to safe water for men, women and children facing this very complex humanitarian situation.

Travel Advisory

Global Affairs Canada recommends anyone considering travel to Mauritania to check its travel advice and encourages travellers to register with Registration of Canadians Abroad service when outside of Canada.