LOCATED IN WEST Africa, and a former French colony, Mauritania has a land area of 397,954 sq. mi. (1,030,700 sq. km.), a population of 3,124,000 (2006 est.), and a population density of 7.8 people per sq. mi. (3 people per sq. km.). It is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. The Sahara Desert covers much of the country, with less than 1 percent of the land arable, and 38 percent used for low-intensity meadows and pasture. Some 5 percent of the country is forested, mainly with gum arabic, which is the major cash crop of the country.

Regarding electricity production in the country, some 84.4 percent comes from fossil fuels, with the remainder from hydropower. However, electricity usage in the country is ...

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