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Economy - Development | Society

Mauritania announces "Manhattan of Nouakchott"

afrol News / Le Calame, 8 November - The Mauritanian Minister of Infrastructure and Transports has announced the restructuring of a township in the capital, Nouakchott. The six-hectare sector located in the city centre is to be transformed into a new business, oil and finance centre, already termed the "Manhattan of Nouakchott", dominated by skyscrapers.

The centric Nouakchott township Islet A will see its old buildings from the 1960s torn down. Instead, the government foresees the rising of the Central Bank of Mauritania Tower, the SNIM Tower of the country's main mining company, the Petroleum Tower, an international business centre and a hotel of international standards - all to be surrounded by green spaces, which are a seldom site in the desert capital.

The centric township has few or no buildings of historic value, as the city of Nouakchott only was a marginal fishing town until it became a colonial administration centre in 1957. Constructing of the city started in 1958, and due to much space and few inhabitants, Nouakchott became spread out and with very few tall buildings.

Minister Ba Ibrahima Demba revealed that the foundation stone of the large works to construct the "Manhattan of Nouakchott" business centre would be laid already on 28 November. Until then, the last remaining formal and institutional formalities had to be resolved, the Minister said.

The decision to revamp the Islet A township had been taken at a cabinet meeting. It was in fact part of different concrete initiatives contained in a decree heralded Wednesday a week ago, which outlined a global strategy and timetable for the development of the centre of the Mauritanian capital. The initiative had come after the Central Bank of Mauritania and other institutions had urged the government to provide it with new localities in the heart of the capital meeting their requirement.

At the same time, the Mauritanian government has signalled that id foresees to make available new homes to those living in the city centre. Residents were to be placed in new residential areas outside the centre in areas yet to be singled out. Residents to a large degree included army staff and retired officers or their widows, who would be given assistance in renting new homes. But also private property owners in the township were to get proper compensation.

In expectance of the works to commence, the Mauritanian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transports announced the prohibition of "all real estate transactions and the prohibition of authorising constructions in this zone starting from the heralding of the decree."

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