Mohamed Lemine presenting the outcomes of the roundtables during the WestMED 2023 National event in Mauritania

4th national WestMED event for the Promotion of the Blue Economy in Mauritania

As part of the WestMED Initiative, Mauritania’s national hub, in close coordination with the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, organized the 4th national WestMED event at the Nouakchott Hotel on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. This important meeting was chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy and in the presence of the Secretary General of the Ministry of the Environment.

The event was co-organized this year with the REBOOT MED project, whose national partner is the Diawling National Park (PND).

In addition to Mauritania’s national hub and the national coordinator of the WestMed Initiative in Mauritania, the event was attended by the representative of the WestMed Initiative’s Assistance Mechanism, Mr. Matteo Bocci, representatives of the main national institutions concerned, representatives of the private sector, socio-professional organizations and civil society, representatives of the main scientific research institutions at national level, and representatives of the main technical and financial partners. A total of 55 people participated.

The event attracted extensive media coverage, with the presence of all the official national press (Agence Mauritanienne d’Information, Télévision Nationale Al Mauritaniya, Radio de Mauritanie), private television channels and Internet press platforms. The event was featured as one of the main news items on official and private channels in French, Arabic and national languages broadcast on the evening of 31/10/2023.

In his opening address to the workshop, Mr. Sidi Ali Sidi Boubacar, Secretary General of the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, began by thanking the participants and recalling the context and objectives of the WestMED initiative for the promotion of the blue economy. He pointed out that the efforts undertaken by the national coordination, with the support of the national hub, have enabled Mauritania to participate actively in all regional projects aimed at promoting the blue economy in the Mediterranean area, particularly in the fields of fishing, aquaculture, sustainable tourism and renewable energies. These sectors are considered priorities for Mauritania’s co-presidency of the WestMED initiative for 2023.

Mr. Sidi Ali Sidi Boubacar also mentioned that the organization of this event takes place in a particular context, marked by the growing challenges currently facing our marine and coastal zone (exploitation of hydrocarbons: gas and oil, intensification of fishing activities and maritime transport, urbanization, etc.), which requires new, more integrated management approaches to guarantee the sustainability of our resources and the effective preservation of our environment. Consequently, the promotion of a blue economy has become one of the priorities of the national strategy for the fisheries and maritime economy sector.

Following the official opening session, Mr. Mohamed Lemine Abdel Hamid (national hub) presented the program for the event.

The floor was then given to Mr. Matteo Bocci (Ecorys expert), who presented an overview of the WestMED initiative and the main projects underway. He placed particular emphasis on the CallMeBlue project, which aims to promote maritime clusters in the Mediterranean area, and which is due to start up next month, and in which Mauritania is involved through the Mauritanian Maritime Cluster (CMM).

After this presentation, the floor was given to Mr. Hamadi Baba Hamadi, President of the Mauritanian Maritime Cluster (CMM), who presented the progress made in setting up the Mauritanian maritime cluster and the roadmap for its operationalization.

Mr. Tommaso Scavone, Coordinator of the REBOOT MED project, then gave a detailed presentation of the project.

Following these presentations, participants were divided into three thematic groups for round-table group discussions to share their views and to identify ideas related to the following topics:

Group 1: Fisheries and aquaculture, moderated by Dr. Mohamed Lemine Abdel Hamid

Group 2: Hydrocarbons and renewable energies, moderator: Mr Matteo Bocci

Group 3: Sustainable tourism and maritime spatial planning (MSP), moderator: Mr. Tommaso Scavone.

Each group spent two hours discussing opportunities and challenges, and identifying possible solutions in the form of regional/national project ideas to be submitted to the 5th Arab Summit for Economic and Social Development that is planned for 2024


The event was featured on the news the same night by Télévision Nationale Al Mauritaniya with the opening statement by Mr Sidi Ali Sidi Boubaccar General Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and National coordinator for Mauritania of the WESTMED Initiative