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The Ouguiya, or Ougiya, is the official currency of Mauritania. It is the only circulating currency other than the Malagasy Ariary whose subdivision units are not supported on a power of ten, and makes every Ouguiya to contain five khoums.
- The majority of the population in Mauritania depends entirely on agriculture and livestock as means of livelihood.
- Almost 50% of its exports stem from its many iron ore deposits. Due to the increase in metal prices, gold and copper mining companies have been established in the center of the country.
- Mauritania’s coastal waters are one of the richest fishing areas in the world, but over-exploitation by outsiders is a threat to this key source of revenue.
- In 1986, Mauritania opened its first deepwater port, near Nouakchott.
- In recent years, famine and economic mismanagement have lead into an increase in foreign debt.
- In March 1999, the Mauritanian government signed an agreement for $54 million with the World Bank/International Monetary Fund, under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) program to drive GDP growth. Under the program, economic objectives were set for Mauritania; however privatization remains a major unresolved issue which may prevent them from meeting specified targets.
- In 1973, the Ouguiya was first introduced to replace the CFA Franc, at a rate of 1 Ouguiya = 5 Francs.
- The most recent issues of the Ouguiya were in 2003 and 2004. The coins were minted at Kremnica, Slovakia.
- In 2009, the coinage was changed, with a plated composition 1 Ouguiya. Bimetallic 20 and 50 Ouguiya coins were issued by December 2010.
Symbols and Names
- Symbols: UM
- Nicknames: none
ISO 4217 Code
- Khoums = 1/5 of a Ouguiya
- Bills: 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 ouguiya
- Coins: 1 khoums. 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 ouguiya
Countries Using This Currency
Currencies Pegged To MRO :
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