NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Mauritania's Peaceful Presidential Transition


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.

NARCO ANALYSIS: The Maghreb in 2019


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.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: A Snapshot of Mauritania’s Oil and Gas Sector


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.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Mauritanian Premier's Policy Priorities


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.

NARCO RoundUp (OCT18)


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.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Libya Palermo Summit Hotwash


Libya-related summits are traditionally encounters between foreign leaders with a shallow, simplistic perception of the North African country and Libyan elites adept at taking advantage of that superficiality and have it serve their own parochial interests. The Palermo conference on 12-13 November 2018 was no exception. Yet, a few additional twists made the event even harder to decipher than usual.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Mauritania's New Technocratic Gov't


Mauritania has a new prime minister and a new cabinet, and the new government appears almost entirely intended to position Mauritania to take advantage of all the attention focused on the country’s hydrocarbons sector, with the exception of two new additions to the government that could be early indications of presidential succession scenarios.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Sonatrach Is Open for Business


North Africa Risk Consulting had the honor and privilege of presenting some of its analyses to Sonatrach’s CEO, management committee, and approximately 50 employees at the company’s Val du Hydra headquarters. The presentation was followed by a full day with Sonatrach leadership. The takeaway from the day’s engagements: Sonatrach is open for business.

NARCO RoundUp (SEP18)


Summer is over and it’s back to work at NARCO and in Algeria, Libya, and Mauritania. Algerian politics are all about Boutef whereas in Libya, politics are all but dead. Mauritania concluded legislative polls, but the big question of presidential succession is left unanswered. The security situation is a mixed bag across North Africa with the Islamic State back in Libya, but Algeria and Mauritania remaining calm. The oil and gas sector is rebounding in Libya, bustling in Nouakchott, and waiting for the green light in Algeria.  

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria and Mauritania: Abdelazizan, 8 terms, & 40 years


Algeria and Mauritania are on the cusps of 2019 presidential elections. And the likely outcome will be a combined eight terms and forty years for the incumbents. In Algeria, pieces are being prepositioned for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for a fifth consecutive five-year presidential term. In Mauritania, President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz is lining up for a third consecutive five-year term. And the Abdelazizan have each other’s back. But their paths to staying in office differ considerably.



NARCO CLOSEHOLD is timely, actionable analysis derived from discreet sources. NARCO CLOSEHOLDs are crafted as events merit. They are available to NARCO's subscription and retainer clients and on a case-by-case basis.

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