Skip to main content
Flag of Mauritania

Mauritania

Islamic Republic of Mauritania Africa Nouakchott 3,516,806 inhabitants 1,030,700 sq km 3.41 inhabitants/sq km ouguiyas (MRO) population evolution

Famous people from Mauritania

Here is a list of famous people from Mauritania. Curious if anybody from Mauritania made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz

Politician

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is the President of Mauritania. A career soldier and high-ranking officer, he was a leading figure in the August 2005 coup that deposed President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, and in August 2008 he led another coup, that toppled President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi. Following the 2008 coup, Abdel Aziz became President of the High Council of State as part of what was described as a political transition leading to a new election. He resigned from that post in April 2009 in order to stand as a candidate in the July 2009 presidential election, which he won. He was sworn in on 5 August 2009.

Med Hondo

Film Director

Med Hondo is a Mauritanian film director, producer, screenwriter, actor and voice actor. He emigrated to France in 1959 and began to work in film during the 1960s. He received critical acclaim for his 1967 directorial début Soleil O.

Moktar Ould Daddah

Politician

Moktar Ould Daddah was the President of Mauritania from 1960, when his country gained its independence from France, to 1978, when he was deposed in a military coup d'etat.

Abdallah Bin Bayyah

Man

Abdallah bin Mahfudh ibn Bayyah He was born in Mauritania. Currently he teaches at King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia. He is a specialist in all four traditional Sunni schools, with an emphasis on the Maliki school of Madh'hab. In his youth, he was appointed to study legal judgments in Tunis. On returning to Mauritania, he became Minister of Education and later Minister of Justice. He was also appointed a Vice President of the first president of Mauritania. Bin Bayyah is presently involved in number of scholarly councils including The Islamic Fiqh Council, a Saudi-based Institute, and the International Union of Muslim Scholars where he is Vice-President to Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He is also a member of the Dublin-based European Council for Fatwa and Research, a council of Muslim clerics that aims at explaining Islamic law in a way that is sensitive to the realities of European Muslims. He was ranked amongst the 50 most influential Muslims in 2009.

Ely Ould Mohamed Vall

Politician

Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall is a political and military figure in Mauritania. He served as the transitional military leader of Mauritania following a coup d'état in August 2005 until 19 April 2007, when he relinquished power to an elected government. Vall was a long-time ally of President Maaouya Ould Taya, and participated in the December 1984 coup that brought Taya himself to power. Prior to the 2005 coup, he had been director of the national police force, the Sûreté Nationale, since 1987. On 3 August 2005, Taya was ousted in a bloodless military coup while he was out of the country. A group of officers took power as the Military Council for Justice and Democracy and announced that Vall was the head of the council. He did not take the title of President because he said it should be reserved for elected leaders. The new regime, condemning Ould Taya's government as "totalitarian", promised to lead the country to elections and the restoration of civilian rule within two years; a referendum on a new constitution was planned to be held within a year, and parliamentary and presidential elections would follow. Vall and the other members of the military council agreed not to run for president.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi

Man

Mohamedou Ould Slahi or Salahi is a Mauritanian who has been detained at Guantánamo Bay detention camp since August 4, 2002. He is being held under the authority of Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, alleged by the US government to be "part of" al Qaeda at the time of his arrest. Slahi traveled to Afghanistan in December 1990 “to support the mujahideen”. He trained in an al Qaeda camp and swore bayat to al Qaeda in March 1991. At that time, the United States was providing covert support to the mujahideen through the CIA against the Soviet invasion. Slahi returned to Germany soon after and then traveled to Afghanistan again for three months in early 1992. Slahi alleges that he "severed all ties with ... al-Qaeda" at that time. The U.S. government maintains that Slahi "recruited for al-Qaeda and provided it with other support" since then. Slahi was detained in Mauritania on November 20, 2001 and questioned for seven days by Mauritanian officers and by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The CIA rendered him to Jordan; he was held for eight months at a black site, and he claims that he was tortured. After being flown to Afghanistan and held for two weeks, Slahi was transferred to military custody and the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba on August 4, 2002.

Dominique Da Silva

Footballer

Dominique Da Silva is a Senegalese-Mauritanian footballer who plays as a forward for Al-Ahly. He spent time at the Académie de Football Nouakchott before joining CS Sfaxien in 2007. Four years later, he was transferred to Al-Ahly. He has been capped at international level by the Mauritania national team.

Abderrahmane Sissako

Film Director

Abderrahmane Sissako is an award-winning film director and producer who has often worked in Mali and France. Sissako is, along with Ousmane Sembène, Souleymane Cissé, Idrissa Ouedraogo and Djibril Diop Mambety, one of the few filmmakers from Sub-Saharan Africa to reach a measure of international influence. His film Waiting for Happiness was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival official selection under Un Certain Regard, winning the FIPRESCI Prize. His 2007 film Bamako received much attention. Sissako's themes include globalisation, exile and the displacement of people.

Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi

Politician

Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi is a Mauritanian politician. He served in the government during the 1970s, and after a long period of absence from politics he won the March 2007 presidential election, taking office on 19 April 2007. He was deposed in a military coup d'état on August 6, 2008.

Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf

Politician

Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf has served as the Prime Minister of Mauritania since August 2008. Laghdaf was born in Néma. An engineer and a member of the Tajakant tribe, he became Mauritania's Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union in 2006 before being appointed as Prime Minister by junta leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on August 14, 2008. His appointment followed a military coup earlier in the month, and some suggested that he might have been appointed in hopes that doing so would improve Mauritania's foreign relations, given Laghdaf's diplomatic service in Europe. Laghdaf was already viewed as being closely associated with Abdel Aziz prior to his appointment. On August 26, the Rally of Democratic Forces, the Alliance for Justice and Democracy - Movement for Renovation, and the Movement for Direct Democracy announced their decision to not participate in the Laghdaf's government because the junta had not clarified whether or not someone serving in the military would be allowed to stand as a presidential candidate and had not specified how long it intended to remain in power. The new government led by Laghdaf was appointed on August 31 and announced on television early on September 1. This government was composed of 28 members, aside from Laghdaf, and its members were considered to be politically obscure technocrats. The government included several members of the RFD, despite that party's refusal to participate; the RFD responded by saying that the RFD members who had accepted posts in the government had "automatically resigned" from the party by doing so.

Ba Mamadou Mbaré

Politician

Ba Mamadou dit Mbaré was a Mauritanian politician who served as President of the Senate of Mauritania from 2007 until his death. As President of the Senate, he succeeded Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz as Head of State on 15 April 2009, when Abdel Aziz resigned to take part in the June 2009 presidential election. Abdel Aziz was then elected President and in turn succeeded Mbaré on 5 August 2009.

Diallo Guidileye

Soccer Midfielder

Diallo Guidileye is a French-Mauritanian footballer who currently plays for French Ligue 2 club Stade Brest.

Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar

Politician

Having served twice as Prime Minister, from April 1992 to January 1996, and from August 2005 to March 2007, Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar is a leading player in the political and economic changes which have taken place in Mauritania over the last twenty years. He is currently his country's Ambassador to Spain. Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar was born on 31 May 1957 in Atar. He studied at the Lycée National de Nouakchott and passed his baccalaureate in 1976. He then continued his studies at the University of Orléans, where he received a DEA in Economic Law in 1982. He then went on to study at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration de Nouakchott, majoring in Financial Authority Management, and he joined the Mauritanian civil service in 1983, working as a high official within the Economy and Finance Ministry: November 1983 : Technical advisor to the Minister of Finance and Trade March 1984 : Treasury and Public Accounts Director February 1985 : Director of the Supervision of Publicly Owned Establishments January 1986 : Budget and Debt Director March 1987 : Controller General of Finances December 1987 : Director of the Plan April 1988 : Treasury and Public Accounts Director.

Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Louly

Politician

Lt. Col. Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Louly was the President of Mauritania and Chairman of the Military Committee for National Salvation from 3 June 1979 to 4 January 1980. محمد

Ahmed Ould Daddah

Politician

Ahmed Ould Daddah is a Mauritanian economist, politician and civil servant. He is a half-brother of Moktar Ould Daddah, the first President of Mauritania, and belongs to the Marabout Ouled Birri tribe. He is currently the President of the Rally of Democratic Forces and was designated as the official leader of the opposition following the 2007 presidential election, in which he placed second.

Mustafa Ould Salek

Politician

Col. Mustafa Ould Salek was the President of Mauritania from 1978 through 1979. Mustafa Ould Salek was appointed army commander by longtime President Mokhtar Ould Daddah in February 1978, as the country faced dire economic crisis and was failing to contain the Polisario Front's Sahrawi guerrillas after invading Western Sahara in 1975 in alliance with Morocco. On July 10, 1978, Ould Salek led a military coup d'état against President Daddah, and was appointed head of the 20-man junta that was to rule the country. He died in a Paris hospital aged 76. Seen as pro-French and careful not to break his country's alliance with Morocco, he failed to make peace with the Polisario. He also failed to address racial tension between southern Mauritanian Blacks and the northern Arab Moors, discriminating heavily in favour of the latter group, of which he was himself a member. Consequently, he became increasingly isolated within the regime. On April 6, 1979, a second coup by Colonels Ahmad Ould Bouceif and Muhammad Khouna Haidallah reduced Ould Salek to a figurehead President in the replacement junta, the Military Committee for National Salvation. In May, he was replaced as president by Colonel Muhammad Louly.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah

Diplomat

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah is a Mauritanian diplomat and former senior United Nations official.

Zeine Ould Zeidane

Politician

Zeine Ould Zeidane is a Mauritanian economist and politician. He placed third as a candidate in the March 2007 presidential election, and he subsequently served as Prime Minister from April 2007 to May 2008. Born in Tamchekett, Zeidane studied in Nouakchott, then at the University of Nice in France. He taught briefly at the University of Nice before returning to Mauritania, where he taught at the University of Nouakchott before entering banking. In 2000, he was posted to the World Bank, while he later served as economic counsel to the President of Mauritania, Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya. On July 26, 2004, he was appointed by Taya as Governor of the Central Bank of Mauritania. He was virtually the only minister to maintain his post following the coup of August 2005, leaving the position in September 2006 because of his presidential candidacy. Zeidane announced his candidacy on December 18, 2006. In the presidential election, which was held on March 11, 2007, he was the youngest candidate, standing as an independent. He took third place in the election with 15.28% of the votes cast. In the election, Zeidane was considered by some to be the candidate favored by exiled former president Taya. On March 17, Zeidane announced his support for Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi in the second round of the election.

Gerardo Miranda

Soccer

Gerardo Miranda Concepción, simply Gerardo, is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a right defender.

Drissa Diallo

Soccer Defender

Drissa Diallo was born in Mauritania on 4 January 1973 but has French nationality. He represented Guinea internationally. He is a retired footballer who most recently played for Cheltenham Town. In 2003 Mechelen went into liquidation and Diallo was released on a free transfer. He promptly moved to England and signed for Burnley. Although the Lancashire club were keen to sign Diallo on a long term deal after he had impressed Stan Ternent during his time at the club, Diallo spent just 5 months in Burnley before Joe Royle swooped to sign him for Ipswich Town at the end of the season. He scored two goals for Burnley, against Fulham in the FA Cup and Gillingham in the league.

Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou

Man

Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou sometimes spelled Mohammad-Mahmoud Mohamedou is a Harvard University scholar who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mauritania from 2008 until 2009. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and Head of the Middle East and North Africa Program at the Geneva Center for Security Policy and is regarded as a leading international specialist on the new forms of transnational terrorism.

Doudou Touré

Soccer Forward

Doudou Touré is a Mauritanian footballer.

Ibrahima Moctar Sarr

Journalist

Ibrahima Moctar Sarr is a Mauritanian journalist and politician. Running as an independent, he placed fifth in the March 2007 presidential election, and he has been the President of the Alliance for Justice and Democracy/Movement for Renewal since August 2007. After studying in Cesti, Senegal, Sarr trained as a teacher before working in insurance. He became politically active in 1972, being a co-founder member of the Mauritanian Workers Party. Increasingly active as a journalist, he appeared regularly on radio and television. In 1983 he was a co-founder of the African Liberation Forces of Mauritania, and in 1986 he was a communication specialist with FLAM when they published the second edition of the Manifesto of the oppressed black Mauritanian. Following this anti-racist publication, which highlighted racial and discriminatory practices by the Mauritanian government, many black leaders were arrested and thrown to jail. Ibrahima Sarr was sentenced to four years in jail. In 1989, after being released from jail, Sarr resigned from FLAM and ceased his political activities until the democratization process was started in 1992 by President Taya. Sarr then joined the Popular Progressive Alliance under Messaoud Ould Boulkheir, becoming a leading member of the party. He later left the APP.

Mohamed Saleck Ould Mohamed Lemine

Politician

Mohamed Saleck Ould Mohamed Lemine is a Mauritanian politician and diplomat. A former ambassador to Switzerland, Lemine was named on 28 April 2007 to the post of foreign minister in the new government under Prime Minister Zeine Ould Zeidane and President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi. Ould Mohamed Lemine was born in Kiffa. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation on August 1, 1984. He served in a number of positions, including first advisor of Mauritania's permanent mission to the United Nations from February 1992 to January 1996 and Consul General in the Canary Islands from February 1996 to August 1997. In September 1997 he became Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Office of the United Nations and the International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland, and in November 2006 he became Ambassador to Switzerland. In parliament on 7 July 2007, Lemine denied accusations that there were U.S. prisons, secret military bases or training camps in Mauritania, responding to concerns from deputies. The claims about the existence of these facilities were first published by The New Yorker in June; Lemine described the claims as "false rumors".

Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed Lemine

Man

Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed Lemine is a politician in Mauritania. Lemine graduated from the University of Cairo with a diploma in economics and has worked as a professor at the University of Nouakchott. He served as Minister of Defence under Prime Minister's Zeine Ould Zeidane and Yahya Ould Ahmed El Waghef until the 2008 coup which overthrew President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi and created a new government with Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf as Prime Minister. Lemine is currently Chairman of the Union for the Republic party.

Aicha Fall

Olympic Track and field Athlete

Aicha Fall is a Mauritanian runner who competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the 800 m event.

Jidou El Moctar

Olympic Track and field Athlete

Jidou El Moctar is a Mauritanian runner who competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the 200 m event. He was the flag bearer of Mauritania at the opening ceremony. El Moctar was eliminated in the first round but finished with a personal best time of 22.94.

Dahmed Ould Teguedi

Soccer Midfielder

Dahmed Ould Teguedi is a Mauritanian professional football player. He plays for MC Saïda in Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1.

Bilal Sidibé

Soccer Defender

Bilal Sidibé is a Mauritanian football for amateur team Vendée Poiré sur Vie.

Cheikh El Avia Ould Mohamed Khouna

Politician

Cheikh El Avia Ould Mohamed Khouna is a Mauritanian political figure. He was Prime Minister of Mauritania from 2 January 1996 to 18 December 1997, Minister of Foreign Affairs from 12 July 1998 to 16 November 1998, and Prime Minister again from 16 November 1998 to 6 July 2003 under President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya; later, he briefly served as Minister of Foreign Affairs again in 2008. Khouna was born in Amourj, Hodh Ech Chargui. He was Director of the Algerian-Mauritanian Fishing Company from 1992 to 1993, then became Secretary-General of the Mauritanian Ministry of Fishing in 1994. He was subsequently appointed to the government as Minister of Fishing in 1995. After serving as Prime Minister from 1996 to 1997, he became Minister Secretary-General of the Presidency in 1998, then Minister of Foreign Affairs in the same year. He subsequently served a second period as Prime Minister from 1998 to 2003. In the government of Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed El Waghef, named on May 11, 2008, Khouna was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs. The inclusion of Khouna and others who had served under Taya in Waghef's government was controversial, however. This government survived for only two months, and Khouna was not included in the next government, appointed on July 15, 2008/

Ahmed Sidibé

Soccer Forward

Ahmed Sidibé is a Mauritanian soccer player.

Ismaél Diakité

Soccer Forward

Ismaél Diakité is a Mauritanian soccer player.

Tijani Ould Kerim

Man

Tijani Ould Kerim is a Mauritania teacher and diplomat.

Taghiyoullah Denna

Soccer Midfielder

Taghiyoullah Denna is a Mauritanian soccer player.

Voulany Ely

Soccer Forward

Voulany Ely is a Mauritanian soccer player.

Thimon Sistermans

Software Developer

Sidi Mohamed Youssef Sy

Soccer Forward

Sidi Mohamed Youssef Sy is a Mauritanian soccer player.

Yacoub Fall

Soccer Defender

Yacoub Fall is a Mauritanian soccer player.

Samba Schutte

Comedian

Samba Schutte is a comedian, actor and screenwriter.