Mauritania - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector
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Selling to the Government  

Government procurement is divided into three distinct categories:
(a) Procurement related to large development projects worth more than $10 million.  These projects are generally financed by multilateral institutions (World Bank, Arab Fund, Islamic Development Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, etc.).
(b) Procurement related to medium and small-scale projects financed jointly by the government and one or more development partners.
(c) Procurement related to small projects valued at less than $1 million and financed solely by the government.
For categories (a) and (b), procurements are made through international public tenders.
For category (c), procurements are made by mutual agreement, without a public tender.

Such direct awards are also used for certain sensitive procurements and projects in categories (a) and (b) e.g., related to security issues.  The government has been known to accept unsolicited offers for projects.

The government’s Central Procurement Board (Commission Centrale des Marchés) which falls under the Prime Minister’s authority, is responsible for monitoring compliance with procurement regulations and conducting most government negotiations with foreign suppliers.  For large or complex projects, the government often requires bidders to submit letters of interest to be short-listed prior to the issuance of a restricted tender.  This closed bidding system has been widely used in privatization schemes in Mauritania.  Therefore, it is important to send an “expression of interest” prior to the published tender.  The World Bank is assisting the Central Procurement Board to improve its procedures, the transparency of its operations, and its implementation of existing regulations.  The regulations governing the Procurement Board are available at the Prime Minister’s Office.  Opportunities to sell to the government include oil and gas services, pharmaceutical products, transportation means, grains, drilling equipment, agricultural and irrigation equipment, and health and education equipment and materials.
Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks.  Please refer to “Project Financing” Section in “Trade and Project Financing” for more information.

U.S. companies bidding on government tenders may also qualify for U.S. Government advocacy.  A unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center, coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public sector contracts with international governments and government agencies.  The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and interagency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts.  Advocacy assistance can take many forms but often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government agencies expressing support for the U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government.  Consult Advocacy for Foreign Government Contracts for additional information.

Financing of Projects 

Mauritania project financing falls under the least developed countries categories. 

Power Africa is a market-driven, U.S. Government-led public-private partnership aiming to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.  It offers private sector entities tools and resources to facilitate doing business in Africa’s power sector. 

In 2016, the Electrify Africa Act institutionalized Power Africa.  Learn more about the full Power Africa toolbox or other opportunities offered by Power Africa.
Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales  

The U.S. Commercial Service maintains Commercial Liaison Offices in each of the main Multilateral Development Banks, including the African Development Bank and the World Bank.  These institutions lend billions of dollars in developing countries on projects aimed at accelerating economic growth and social development by reducing poverty and inequality, improving health and education, and advancing infrastructure development.  The Commercial Liaison Offices help American businesses learn how to get involved in bank-funded projects, and advocate on behalf of American bidders.  Learn more by contacting the Commercial Liaison Office to the African Development Bank and the Commercial Liaison Office to the World Bank.