Currency Devaluation and Poverty in Mauritania



Abstract: The chapter examines the extent to which the systematic devaluation of the Mauritanian Ouguiya vis--vis the U.S. dollar contributes to poverty in Mauritania. First, it reviews the exchange rate policies advocated by the IMF-backed structural adjustment programs in Mauritania since the 1980s. Second, it assesses the level of currency devaluation and examines the extent to which it contributes to declining GNI and export earnings as well as rising external debts. Third, it suggests that any reversal of this trend will likely require a return to protectionism in the form of exchange controls and import restrictions.