- The United States African Development Foundation (USADF), in conjunction with the United States Embassy in Mauritania, hosted a ceremony to launch nearly $850,000 in development assistance to grassroots groups in Mauritania. Representatives from each group receiving USADF funds were in attendance.
The US Ambassador to Mauritania Mark M. Boulware focused his remarks around the Obama Administration’s dedication to the importance of economic development and went on to speak about the work of USADF in the West African country.
He stated, “USADF is unique because it seeks to use American grants to promote one of the most valuable resources in Mauritania - its people. The United States recognises the value of the dynamic ideas of Africans and by providing a combination of USADF grant money and business administration training to Mauritanian entrepreneurs, we are helping to create new businesses, new jobs, and new opportunities in Mauritania.”
The USADF Regional Programme Director, Rama Bah, also stated “USADF grantees in Mauritania are a great source of pride for the Agency, for they represent how ideas can come to life and how people can start to empower, and create better lives for, themselves and their communities.”
This year, the Foundation received over 150 applications from all thirteen regions. Requests came from refugees returning to Mauritania seeking to re-establish their lives in Gorgol, Brakna, and Trarza, and mining communities in the extremely remote area of Tiris Zemmour. The grants are designed to build upon existing systems, to improve productivity, and support capacity building.
During the ceremony, each grantee present received a certificate from USADF and the US Embassy recognized them as USADF grantees selected in 2009.
USADF began programming in Mauritania in 2008, with the first projects focusing on camel and cow herders gaining access to markets to sell their milk. Mauritania’s current portfolio stands at ten investment projects totalling $1.28 million dollars.
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