Mauritania is a largely desert-country in western Africa with a population of about 3.6 million, most of whom practice Islam and speak Arabic and French. It is rich in mineral resources, especially iron and ore. Its demographics include Arab-Berber population to the north and black Africans to the south. Many of its people are nomads.

Agriculture and livestock still constitute most people’s sources for a livelihood, although most of the nomads and many subsistence farmers migrated to the cities due to recurrent droughts in the 1970s and 1980s. Mauritania’s extensive deposits of iron ore accounts for almost 50% of total exports, and gold and copper mining also contribute extensively to the economy.

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