Mauritania must rethink its development by highlighting its assets

Ibrahim Thiaw DDDay portrait

UNCCD Executive Secretary interview with The National Horizons Daily on 9 June 2020

Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, shares his views on the impacts which COVID19 pandemic could have on the African continent in general, Mauritania and the rest of the Sahel countries in particular as an ecologically vulnerable region. 

COVID19 pandemic is a global crisis. Africa, which has so far been very moderately affected, is seeing its poorly performing health facilities put to the test. Containment measures, curfews and other business closures and travel bans could permanently affect the economies of the African countries. Beyond the ecological dimension, it is a question of economic, social and political stability. It is a question of which trajectory the Sahelian countries want to take. Mauritania must build on its strengths and assets: its youth and natural resources.

“60 years after independence, we cannot continue to export African raw materials and buy back, at the price of gold, the finished products resulting from the processing of these raw materials. The continent must invest in research and medicine. The danger with COVID19 is to think first of restarting economies before thinking of sustainable development and the environment. Such attitude would be a big mistake.” Read the full article...