Mauritanian society faces many challenges, the most significant of which are social archaisms and poor governance within state institutions. However, there are common solutions to these two problems. An effective fight against bad management is a powerful lever for social modernization, and the promotion of true citizenship makes it possible to deconstruct the prejudices that are rampant in our society.
On December 10, the President of the Republic, Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, called for the fight against social injustices caused by archaic beliefs and traditions. A few weeks later, at the Al Mourabitoune palace, he repeated to senior officials the firm will of the government to tackle all forms of injustice and corruption.
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The signs of a major evolution are there. The change in supervision of the General State Inspectorate (IGE) and them recent measures taken against certain civil servants confirm our government’s investment in this fight. We must salute the courage of all those who are involved with the President in this enterprise of transforming our institutions. They bear witness through their commitment to what constitutes the heart of an authentic political action which, as Jacques Chirac said, “is not only the art of the possible [mais] the art of making possible what is necessary”.
In six decades, the Mauritanian state can hardly be held responsible for the social archaisms and endemic corruption that plague society. These two problems have their origins in the history of the western Sahel and also affect a large number of other countries in the sub-region.
Since the country’s independence, major efforts have been made in this area. The Mauritanian Penal Code has included slavery practices as a “crime against humanity” whose perpetrators are now liable to at least 20 years in prison. Specially dedicated courts have been set up throughout the territory, so that every citizen can take legal action. NGOs can also more easily intervene and bring civil action in any suspicious case. Finally, the development of means of telecommunications and social networks have made human exploitation and slavery in our country unlikely. All these advances have been made possible thanks to the collaboration between civil society and the State.
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Through its action, Mauritania has become a precursor country in a region where slavery practices and the caste system often remain taboos. These social injustices, because they remain anchored in morals and in the unconscious of the peoples, serve to justify the barbaric acts and hate speech of some, who manipulate these issues to serve their own political and ideological ends. Our public administration and our society as a whole still have significant efforts to make to modernize themselves in order to complete and consolidate the progress made.
Development through education
These efforts go through different levers. In order to definitively eradicate all forms of corruption within the public administration, it is necessary to deconstruct all the perverted morals of our society. It is not normal for individuals guilty of embezzlement of public funds to enjoy any kind of moral indulgence within society. Any State at the service of the common good is based on principles from which no citizen, whatever his status, can derogate.
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Education is the channel through which the mentalities of a society can evolve, and where men can cultivate a taste for genuine freedom. It is therefore necessary to integrate into the school system, and this, from an early age, the teaching of the founding bases of our society which are equal dignity between men and the values of work and meritocracy.
It is also on these same principles that reforms in the recruitment of our administrations must be based. It is essential to favor transparent competition to select the best executives in Mauritania. Civil servants should be accountable only to the Mauritanian state. True fairness comes at this price. The legislative and regulatory framework on which Mauritania can base its policy already exists, yet it must be scrupulously applied. It is undeniable that with an efficient use of available resources, we can already “do the difference ».