Spain and Mauritania step up cooperation relations in fields of education, culture and science

The State Secretary for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno Bau, has met today in Madrid with the Mauritanian Minister for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Information Technology, Sidi Ould Salem, with the aim of stepping up the cooperation relations the two countries have maintained for more than three decades in the fields of education, culture and science

Minister Sidi Ould Salem, who is also the Spokesperson for the Government of Mauritania, is on a working visit to Spain, accompanied by the President of the University of Nouakchott Al-Aasriya (UNA), Cheikh Saad Bouh Camara, and the Councillor for Cooperation of the Ministry of Higher Education, Mariam Baba Ahmed. During the course of this week he will also hold meetings with the Minister for Universities, the Director of the Cervantes Institute, the Director of Arab House, the President of the Regional Government of Murcia and the rectors of several Spanish universities.

The minister and the State secretary addressed the support by Spanish Cooperation for the learning of Spanish between university students and academics and the online training of the Cervantes Institute. They also spoke about the challenge of the digital gap and the need to address the digitalisation of education with determination at primary and secondary schools, tied in to the necessary investment in technologies and connectivity. They will also explore cooperation in this field.

Spain has supported fibre-optic connections between the University of Nouakchott Al Aasriya and the Spanish academic network IRIS and the European network GEANT. This connection has been completed through the node of the Technology Institute of the Canary Islands and of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Ángeles Moreno Bau stressed the importance of education exchanges for the teaching of Spanish, which is in great demand in Mauritania, with the possibility of opening a Cervantes Aula in the future in Nouakchott. Furthermore, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID) can also offer grants and assistantships and has just launched the AFRICA-MED university Master’s degree programme for Mauritanian public servants.

Another point on the agenda was the possibility of reaching new agreements in the culture for development sector, an important strategic line for AECID. In recent years, this field has been stepped up, tied into World Heritage Cities as declared by UNESCO.

The support from AECID for the conservation of libraries of ancient Chinguetti manuscripts in Mauritania and depositaries of texts with religious, philosophical, scientific and linguistic content is of particular importance - a project that began in 2016 and has been implemented in two phases.

Mauritania is a priority country for Spanish Cooperation at a bilateral, regional and EU level. Total Official Development Assistance (Spanish acronym: ODA) in the period 2014-2019 amounted to 44.1 million euros. Work is being done at present on drawing up a new Country Association Framework which, once signed, will guide bilateral cooperation relations for the next four years.




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