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The lure of the International Monetary Fund

Posted on 1:37 AM by ELY Mustapha

 ... Growth of underdevelopment.
Visiting, last month, Nouakchott and after a two-week mission, the  division chief of the IMF during a press conference said that the macroeconomic performance in 2010 have been generally satisfactory "and that" the growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to 5.2% (in 2010) and, finally, for the same period the "rate of inflation has been contained 6.1% "

It's been long time since we wrote about the thundering declaration of the International Monetary Fund in Mauritania. With their share of "expected growth" for "good behavior of the economy," inflation "acceptable" to "positive outlook" and so on.;;. (See here: "Should we believe the IMF?" Or "Growth? What Growth?")

And we will not continue with this institution in his ratings inducing poor countries error on their economic situation and their fate and purposely “inflating the ankles of our leaders” recklessly incompetent (see our previous articles
on this blog). So we decided against this to use a simple intuitive approach based on economically common sense.
We'll just ask two questions: If there is growth (as stated by the IMF) what makes this growth happened? (I) and if there is growth, why there’s no developement?

Who realizes growth in Mauritania?

This "WHO" is the Alpha and Omega of following ideas.

Indeed, as already defined in our previous articles, the growth arises from the sum of value added of all economic units of a country. It follows the variations if the aggregation of these values ​​added called GDP (Gross Domestic Product), GNP (Gross National Product), RN (National Revenue), etc. But whatever the name, it should simply means that increase of these aggregations ( after correction by the rate of inflation for the period- usually one year), is the first indicator of growth. It’s the FMI Credo. And its perpetual error.

Take the opposite view of this reasoning: If there is growth, well should there be a combination of factors for its implementation. These are the factors of production of goods And services. And these factors include: capital and labor.

Let Capital factor aside, for three reasons: first, that wealth in Mauritania never been identified. The second is that this capital, if any, is diffuse and held by a small minority of the population of bankers and / or traders. The third most important reason is, even if  that capital exists the work stays  unproductive.
This third point is the key argument: Who works in Mauritania to generate growth? In other words,  is there any  economically active population to generate such growth?
Let  set first the definitions:

The participation rate is the ratio between the total labor force (employed and unemployed) and the population of working age.
The employment rate is the ratio between employed people and people of working age (15-64 years). The employment rate reflects the ability of an economy to utilize its manpower.
Statistically: Mauritania has (2010):  3. 205 060 inhabitants (World Bank)

Population under 15years  (2009):  41.0%
Population over 64 years (2009):  3.4%
Unemployment rate for men: 23.9%
Unemployment rate of women: 44%

On this basis:
There are 1314074.6 Children (-15yrs): no value added
There are 108 972.04 seniors (64 +): doubtful value added

So in total it is necessary to eliminate these two segments of the population count of the workforce (mainly, 1. 423 047 individuals.)
It remains then: 1782 013 individuals among which the workforce can be identified.

Applying the 67.9% unemployment rate (men and women) to the population of working age (15-64 years),  it would be 1,209,987 unemployed.
Then there are only 572 026 individuals who should be the population active.

But what kind of  activity?

Applying these percentages to the distribution of jobs by employer type (as reflected in the statistics of the Office for National Statistics for 2008), to the previous figure (572 026) and  keeping constant percentage (usually an increase for the year 2010), we obtain the following result: 

3.Private corporates
4.Individual / household
5. Other ( informal sector )

From the overall figure (572 026) should be subtracted sectors 1, 4 and 5, their  value added to the economy is either diffuse (non-market production of government), or with no reinvestment (impoverished households , informality). A total of 494,802 individuals. 

Then, There are only 77 223 individuals potentially working. These individuals are distributed among private companies and the Parastatal sector

 For private companies they operate mainly in commerce and services. As we know, these companies are held by about 20% of the employed population (ONS statistics). This approximation is correct because 20% of the number of employed persons (excluding informal) give a figure approaching the 57 431 individuals listed in the table above for private companies. This sector consists of a few traders and bankers who monopolize the national resources  (procurement, fishing ...), the rest are employees-real labor.

The fisheries sector is the monopoly of  lobbies, traders settled since the early nineties on the sector by successive regimes.
 Its value-added form of capital, returns to holders of individual fishing companies and fishing licenses, and not reinvested in productive economic sectors, but often the subject of transfers in foreign accounts. The value added of Fishing calculated in the GNP must be revised because the income from fishing is no benefit to people, but for the privileged. People working in the fishing sector specifically have only wage income, a minority of them owns the capital, the means of production and profits.

Remains the sector's production companies mining and marketing of natural resources (fisheries and mining) Parastatal (13 156 individuals with around 4500 permanent staff employed by SNIM).

So in the end and all calculations done: On 3,205,060 Mauritanian inhabitants, only 0.41% of them has a productive value added. This percentage of economic activity is found in the natural resource sector and mainly in the Parastatal.

Who is, then, making growth in Mauritania? The answer is:  0.41% of the population!

And it’s the natural resource sector which increases the GNP, and which on it the IMF indexes the evolution of economic growth!

The findings are then as follows:

-  The Mauritanian economy is living on an informal economy

- The added value is realized through the exploitation of natural resources,

- Only 0.41% of the population provides a value-added

- The economy is captured in the form of capital accumulation in the hands of lobbies of traders and bankers exporting resources with unproductive investment at the nation scale..

So as shown the economic reality is different than what stated by the IMF!  

IMF statements induce poor countries in error. They creates confusion between "growth" of an “annuity”(
Gross National Income) and  the economic and social development.

II- The growth and underdevelopment: the IMF in contradiction.

The majority of the Mauritanian population suffers from poverty and public infrastructure is crumbling amid a field of debris that covered the streets and avenues.

Our streets are filled with children and old beggars, our hospitals are open cemeteries, our national fleet is a collection of rusting hulks that smell of death, full nose ...

Viewed from outside, Mauritania has no industry that exports a competitive national product and generates employment and income.
We do not produce anything commercially or technologically that is worth being exported.
Yet the growth rate is estimated at 5.2% (2010), it was already 5.7 in 2007!
Yet we grow! Unbelievable. Who would have thought?
Pathetic, isn’t it? Outrageous.

Here is proof of the FMI incoherent economic discourse:

On March 15, 2010, following the IMF mission in Nouakchott and the deliberations of the Executive Board of IMF, Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors made the Acting following statement:

"The economic situation (in Mauritania) deteriorated sharply in 2008-09 as a result of both internal and external shocks. Real GDP has declined and the fiscal position has weakened. While inflation remained subdued, the current account deficit is high (12.7% of GDP) and international reserves cover only about two months of imports. "(Source: IMF, click here)
Compare with the statement of the IMF mission led by Mr. Dominique Guillaume Nouakchott from 8 to 20 March 2008

"The mission also reviewed the implementation of the program that continues to unfold in a satisfactory manner. All performance criteria and benchmarks for end-December 2007 were met. Macroeconomic developments in the fourth quarter of 2007 were broadly consistent with the objectives of the program despite a difficult environment. GDP growth non-oil has reached almost 6% over 2007 benefiting from the rebound in agricultural production and development of new mining projects. The level of external reserves has slightly exceeded the target set for late 2007. The budget deficit was kept within the limits set by the program. "(Source: IMF, click here)

Compare with the statements of the Chief of Mission in Nouakchott (2010):

"The, division chief of the IMF during a press conference said that the macroeconomic performance in 2010 were broadly satisfactory," and that "the growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) s is $ 5.2% (in 2010) and, finally, for the same period the "rate of inflation was contained at 6.1%"
How past few months there is a situation where "all the performance criteria and benchmarks for end-December 2007 have been met" in a degraded situation (2008-2009), then a satisfactory situation (2010)?

The major economic aggregates would they hip-hop?

  That's the misinformation, a part of disinformation, our economy "encoders" have made a political gymnastics.

Since the famous "falsified" figures delivered to the IMF (which have cost us hundreds of millions of dollars because of the six-month postponement of debt relief) the biggest lie ahead was that of double-digit growth!

If economic growth results from the total production of all country’s goods and services during a given period, then it will be understood that in Mauritania growth is negative.
 Where are the goods and services in Mauritania would cause such growth to 5.7% and that of previous years?

In fact this figure is misleading and is about growth in the sense of "expansion of national income", that is to say, this "catch-all" in which shall include the income of the nation regardless of its from!

Growth is thus that of "national income" not that of the sum of value added economic units of the country and expressed through changes in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (inflation adjusted) or nominal GDP (expressing the market value of goods and services produced by a country.).

So the considered growth is national income growth, not the national economy growth!

Indeed, economic growth, as calculated, is only quantitative variation of an aggregate economy, it is not synonymous with development.
The development is generally associated with growth, but there may be growth without development. This is the case of Mauritania where the growth rates shown here are only those of national income (national pension).

The real growth and the false growth

So if real economic growth reflects the quantitative variation, sustainable, self-sustaining and irreversible production of goods and services, false growth reflects the change in Mauritania quantitative unsustainable, self-sustained and reversible national income ( of oil revenues and other) for a minority that has long (and ever) planned its diversion to the detriment of development. The real growth is based on the production function and not the accumulation of national income (from rent).

This production function based on the use of production factors, labor and capital. Growth depends on the quantities of inputs available and how they are used.
The labor factor: growth is possible through an increase in the amount of available work or increase the quality of labor input.

The capital factor: growth appears through increased investments or improving the stock of capital available technique which allows a larger quantity of goods and services produced.
And finally, technical progress: that increases the productivity of factors of production used. Nearly half of economic growth is the fact that technical progress.

So in light of the foregoing (labor, capital, technology), where you see growth in Mauritania?
Prof. ELY Mustafa

Some references:

- Http://
- Office for National Statistics (
-Http: / / (especially for tables article Sidna Mohamed Saleh, The migration of Mauritanians and recent trends (2009))
- Http://,, menuPK: 469145 ~ pagePK: 141132 ~ piPK: 141109 ~ theSitePK: 469117.00. html

1 Response to "The lure of the International Monetary Fund"

Anonymous Says....

As you quote it down , IMF doesn't care anymore about development, only liberal measures leads him even if they don't deserve less developped countries social goals. They have to follow its philosophy otherwise no money, no assistance when they fall in budgetary deficit or any other financial gap.
I don't know Mauritanian econoymy trends but the schema you've drawn could fit any developping country all over the world. Hope to be read by more people...

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