Following Niger, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast in 2016, UCLG Africa plans to lead a study on the evaluation of the costs of the transferred competencies.
Mr. François Paul Yatta, Program Director at UCLG Africa, was in Nouakchott from 26 to 31 March 2017 to study the feasibility of this approach. The advantage of the study would be to support a national dialogue on the sharing of public resources between the State and local governments.
This exploratory mission has been requested by the Association of Mayors of Mauritania (AMM) and the French Cooperation with the dual aim to advise the technical stakeholders on the importance of developing a method that will evaluate the of the transferred competencies; and to study the feasibility of the approach both technically and statistically.
Meetings were held with Mrs. Fatimetou Abdel Malik, Mayor of Tevragh-Zeina; Vice-President of AMM, Mr. Abdi Ould Hormah; Director General of Local Authorities, Mr. Djibril Hamady Niang; Director General of Budget (DGB), Mr. Yahya Sadvi H’Meity; Director General of the Treasury and Public Accounting; the General Secretariat of the Association of Mayors of Mauritania (AMM); and the core technical and financial partners in the field of decentralization in Mauritania.
The main concerns were how to define the parameters of the study, identify the resources needed, define the terms of reference and the availability of the data to be sought.
In Mauritania, local authorities have general and specific competencies, but no regulatory text exists to clarify the transferred competencies. The current situation shows that barely 4% of the investments made in the territories of municipalities and within the competencies devolved to the latter pass through the communal circuits and are taken into account in their budgets. As in Chad and Niger, the local authorities of Mauritania don’t have the transfer of decentralization policies like public health, education, water and sanitation.
After the evaluation and the dialogue on the sharing of resources in Mauritania, the next steps will be:
-The conception of a draft convention partnership between UCLG Africa; the Directorate General of territorial communities (DGCT); and the national integrated program to support decentralization, local development and youth employment (PNIDDLE) on the supervision of the evaluation of the costs of the transferred competencies and dialogue on the sharing of public resources between the State and local governments.
– To work in the coming months on the terms of reference and the planning of the evaluation of the costs of the transferred competencies; and to start the identification of consultants that will be committed under the supervision of UCLG-Africa, to collect and process the budget data from ministries.
Note that, Mauritania has 218 municipalities with mayors elected since 2013. The administrative division includes twelve regions (Wilayas), headed by Governors (Walis), and fifty-five departments (Moughataas) headed by the prefects (Hakems). Constitutional reform under discussion provides for the transition of administrative districts to local authority areas.