Creating jobs for young people in rural Mauritania

Project description

Title: Promotion of employment and occupational integration in rural areas
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union (EU)
Country: Mauritania
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Economy and Finance
Overall term: 2016 to 2021



In Mauritania, half of the population lives in poverty – roughly 70 per cent of them in rural areas. This is partly because, in rural areas, many people are employed in agriculture. Farming offers women in particular opportunities to get involved in economic life. Yet the development of agriculture and skilled trades is slow. That is why young people especially, who are severely affected by unemployment, find it increasingly hard to find jobs in these sectors.

The topic of employment is on the political agenda. However, it has so far been insufficiently streamlined to adopt a hands-on approach in sector policy, funding programmes and existing institutions. The decentralised structures in the public, private and civil-society sectors for providing support in the various regions are sparse.

The local business development system is weak. The vocational education and training system can draw on support from regional education and training centres. However, services have to be better geared to the actual needs and market demand. Careers advice and guidance structures are poorly developed and scarce. As a result, the employment situation for young people remains unsatisfactory.


The employment situation of young people in selected regions of Mauritania is improved and the rural structures for promoting employment are in place.



As a delegated partner initiative of the European Union (EU), the project covers two components of the EU’s Institutional Strengthening Programme for Agricultural and Pastoral Resilience in Mauritania. The project territory is in Southern Mauretania and comprises the region along the banks of the Senegal River, as well as the regions Assaba and Guidimaka.

The project operates in the following fields of activity:

  1. Local business development: helping rural areas develop the capacity to quickly create employment.
  2. Labour market interventions: supporting the integration of young people in the economy and employment.
  3. Vocational training: developing the planning and implementation capacities for short-term training programmes of government and private actors.

Two fields of activity are implemented through delegated EU components:

  1. Action research: implementing applied agricultural research programmes aimed at increasing resilience in crop cultivation and livestock farming.
  2. Vocational education and training: promoting the vocational education and training of professionals to meet public and private sector labour demand in agroforestry and livestock farming.

Additional information