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HomeCountriesNorth Africa › Mauritania

Mauritania Country AET Profile

About Mauritania

Projected adult illiteracy rates for the year 2000 stand at 60.1% (males, 49.4%; females, 70.5%). Education is not compulsory. The National Institute of Higher Islamic Studies was established in Boutilimit in 1961, and the National School of Administration was founded in 1966 at Nouakchott. The University of Nouakchott, founded in 1981, has a faculty of letters and human sciences and a faculty of law and economics. All higher-level institutions had a total of 270 teachers and 8,496 pupils in 1996. Only 17% of these post-secondary students were female. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 4.3% of GDP.

Settled agriculture is restricted to the strip of land along the Senegal River and to oases in the north; only 0.2% of Mauritania's total land area is classified as arable. In general, landholdings are small. Overall agricultural development has been hampered not only by unfavorable physical conditions but also by a complicated land-tenure system (modified in 1984) that traditionally rested on slavery, inadequate transportation, and the low priority placed on agriculture by most government developmental plans. The country's traditional dependence on food imports has been heightened by drought. Agriculture's share of GDP has been steadily falling; in 2001 it stood at 21%, down from 29% in 1987.

Institutions in Mauritania

Reports on Mauritania
Mauritania - Current Student Enrolment and Academic Staffing



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