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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.

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.

Things are rocking and rolling at NARCO and the October RoundUp is admittedly late. Algeria is a hot mess of contradiction – with oil the only sector projecting any coherency. Politics and security are inscrutable. Libya’s Palermo Conference did exactly what everyone expected it to: nothing. Meanwhile, the Islamic State keeps carrying out attacks and oil production keeps inching upwards. Mauritania has a new government that will safely shepherd foreign direct investment, but there are mounting concerns about a political transition and the overall security situation.