On May 18th-19th, Peter Eigen and the FiTI’s interim program director Sven Biermann conducted the first country visit to Mauritania. The goal of this visit was to meet with key national and international stakeholders and discuss concrete next steps.
The FiTI team was welcomed by the then Mauritanian Minister for Economic Affairs and Development, H.E. Sidi Ould Tah, who reiterated the commitment of Mauritania to the initiative. Several others meetings took place, including with the Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, H.E. Nani Ould Chrough. During a meeting with the National Coordinator of the National Committee of the Extractive Industries Initiative (EITI) in Mauritania, Mr. Djibi Sow, the relation between FiTI and EITI was discussed. H.E. Sidi Ould Tah reiterated the need for a separate National Multi-Stakeholder Group for the FiTI in Mauritania, in order to use and build-upon specific industry knowledge. Nevertheless, operative synergies between both groups should be sought.
The FiTI team was further invited to present the initiative at the occasion of the Mauritanian Government’s monthly donors meeting, which gathered representatives from various countries, international organizations, development banks and donors.
As highlight of the country visit, Mr. Eigen and Mr. Biermann also had the privilege of a brief audience with His Excellency Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. This audience followed up on the President’s announcement of the launch of the FiTI as part of the “Nouakchott Declaration on Transparency and Sustainable Development in Africa” from January 2015.