Glossary -- Mauritania
- Title of an independent chieftain or regional political leader.
Literally, "commander." Also seen as emir.
- a narrow ledge typically at the top of a slope. Here, walls of
bulldozed sand constructed within the Western Sahara virtually
paralleling its borders with Mauritania. Moroccan forces
constructed the berms, which were subsequently fitted with special
sensory devices to prevent Polisario guerrillas from infiltrating
into territory controlled by Morocco.
- Northern bank of the Senegal River, extending sixteen to
thirty-two kilometers north of the river and containing fertile
- System under which a religious hierarchy exerts political
authority. Historically, clericalism was common among smaller
polities in Muslim areas of West Africa.
- Franc Zone
- Collection of thirteen francophone African countries whose
currency is based on the French franc.
- Gross Domestic Product. A measure of the value of domestic
goods and services produced by an economy over a period of time,
such as a year. Only output values of goods for final consumption
and investment are included because the values of primary and
intermediate production are assumed to be included in final prices.
GDP is sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning
that indirect taxes and subsidies are included; when these have
been eliminated, the result is GDP at factor cost.
- gum arabic
- water-soluble gum obtained from several varieties of acacia and
used in textile finishing and in inks, confectionery, pharmacy, and
the manufacture of adhesives.
- hartani (pl.,
- term referring to freed former slaves. In Arabic, literally
"plowman," referring to the low status of harratin.
- Muslim leader who is a recognized authority on Islamic theology
and law; also, the prayer leader of a mosque. The term is used to
designate the leader of the Islamic community in a particular
- International Monetary Fund. Established along with the World
Bank (q.v.) in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated
with the United Nations and is responsible for stabilizing
international exchange rates and payments. The main business of the
IMF is the provision of loans to its members (including
industrialized and developing countries) when they experience
balance of payments difficulties. These loans frequently carry
conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments
by the recipients, most of which are developing countries.
- Refers to denizenship and rights of natives. In colonial French
West Africa, the colonial system of discipline characterized by
arbitrary and summary judgments accorded Africans living in rural
areas. The indigčnat was abolished in 1945.
- in Arabic, community or group.
- Mauritanian Kadihine Party
- Clandestine leftist political party compromised primarily of
Mauritanian's proletariat and other low-wage workers. The party was
formed in 1973 after the Mauritanian People's Party, Mauritania's
sole political party, absorbed the country's previously independent
trade union. Literally kadihine means "the oppressed" or
- Maghrib (adj. Maghribian)
- The western Islamic world (northwest Africa); distinguished
from the Mashriq or eastern Islamic world (the Middle East).
Traditionally includes Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and what is now
Libya. Literally, "the time or place of the sunset--the west." For
its Arab conquerors, the region was the "island of the west"
(jazirat al maghrib), the land between the "sea of sand"
(Sahara) and the Mediterranean Sea. Also translated as
- Maliki Rite
- Interpretation of Islamic theology and law based on the
teachings of Imam Malik, an Egyptian jurist of the eighth century.
- In West Africa, a Muslim prayer leader, teacher, and sometimes
a healer who is venerated locally and believed to be touched by
divine grace, which sometimes conferred the right to rule as well.
Frequently called upon to arbitrate disputes. Translation of al
murabitun (those who have made a religious retreat). In some
locales, the title became the monopoly of certain families, who
thus formed maraboutic castes.
- Organization of African Unity. Inter-African organization with
a membership of thirty African states.
- ouguiya (UM)
- Mauritanian currency; UM74.43 equals US$1.
- Paris Club
- A noninstitutional framework whereby developed nations that
have made loans or guaranteed official or private export credits to
developing nations meet to discuss borrowers' ability to repay
debts. The organization, which met for the first time in 1956, has
no formal or institutional existence and no fixed membership. Its
secretariat is run by the French treasury, and it has a close
relationship with the World Bank (q.v.), International Monetary
Fund (q.v.), and the United Nations Conference on Trade and
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de
Oro (Frente Popular por la Liberación de Saguia el Hamra y Río de
Oro). Sahrawi liberation group seeking national self-determination
in the Western Sahara. Polisario guerrillas constitute the military
wing of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a
government-in-exile for what in 1987 was known as the Western
Sahara. The main base for the SADR and Polisario was Tindouf,
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The governing arm of the
- Pertains to the region south of the Sahara encompassing Cape
Verde, Mauritania, southern Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Niger, and
northern Nigeria. Literally, "coastal," in which the Sahara is
figuratively considered to be a sea.
- Traditional code of Islamic law, both civil and criminal, based
in part on the Quran. Also drawn from the hadith sayings
and teachings of the Prophet), from the consensus of Islamic belief
(ijma; i.e. consensus of the authorities on a legal
question); and analogy (qiyas; i.e. an elaboration of the
intent of the law).
- The currency symbol for the ouguiya (q.v.).
- West Sahara(n)
- Region of West Africa comprising parts of Mauritania, Mali,
Morocco, and Algeria.
- Western Sahara
- Formerly Spanish Sahara. Region of West Africa bordered on the
west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by Morocco, on the south
and nearly all of its west by Mauritania. In the northwest corner,
it shares a very short border with Algeria. Spain divided Spanish
Sahara between Morocco and Mauritania--ignoring the sentiments of
indigenous groups--when it relinquished colonial control in 1976.
Subsequently Polisario (q.v.) guerrillas supported by Algeria among
other states waged a war for independence primarily against forces
- World Bank
- Informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated
international institutions: the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International
Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance
Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary
purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive
projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by
the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the
poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of
conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the
activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed
specifically to encourage the growth of productive private
enterprises in the less developed countries. The president and
certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the
IFC. The three institutions are owned by the governments of the
countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World
Bank group, member states must first belong to the International
Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.).