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Traditional capital

Nouakchott has been the capital of Mauritania since 1957 and is the country’s largest city as well as its administrative and financial centre. Located on the west coast of Africa, it is just 5 km from the Atlantic Ocean, covers 1,036 square kilometres and has a population of 914,000.

The city has a dry climate with hot summers and warm winters. Because of its location, the temperatures are high for most of the year although they are milder in the winter. Rain is scarce and concentrated mostly in August and September.

In Nouakchott, the Gamal Abdel Nasser avenue, the central and lively commercial area of the city, divides the capital into two areas. To the north are the luxurious villas of the residential district, with ochre walls and gardens with fresh shade. To the south there is a poor area of slums where most of the population lives its daily life.

In recent years, countries such as China have decided to invest to improve the infrastructures, to convert it into an important commercial city in Africa.

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Cover image of the Guide to África