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About North Africa Risk Consulting

North Africa Risk Consulting Inc. is the political risk consultancy specializing exclusively in North Africa & the Sahara. NARCO helps firms navigate Maghreb markets. Ongoing events in North Africa and the Sahara have heightened the need to understand political circumstances, their trajectories and implications for the commercial environment. Learn more about North Africa Risk Consulting.

On 15 January, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz sent a letter to his party’s parliamentary bloc telling them to cease any efforts to change the constitution to allow him to run for a third consecutive term, seemingly paving the way for a peaceful presidential transition. But things are not as they seem.

2019 is going to bring a lot of change to North Africa, and while that’s accompanied by an equal dose of uncertainty, the smart money is on the downside risk. The next twelve months will be wobbly, but the bigger question is what the Maghreb will look like in 2020.

The Mauritanides Conference in Nouakchott last week was illustrative of the Mauritanian oil and gas sector’s current and future challenges. The fundamental question is whether Mauritania can capably handle the simultaneous attention (and concomitant demands) of four super majors and one mid-sized IOC.

Earlier this week, Mauritania’s new prime minister Mohamed Ould Salem Béchir laid out his policy priorities before parliament. The speech was as long as it was technocratic, which was to be expected given Ould Béchir’s educational and professional background. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool technocrat with an especial affinity for stats and data, which he rattled off for more than two hours.