Mauritania: Mauritania votes in key test for democracy | AFP
Mauritanians are voting Saturday in general and local elections viewed as a key test of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz’s record with the international community calling for a credible and peaceful vote. The mobile phone market in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott never sleeps. Under faded umbrellas to protect them from the searing Saharan sun, traders nimbly switch SIM (subscriber identification module) cards and replace overheated phone batteries. In a country with a scarce telecom infrastructure and its approximately 4.5 million strong population spread across vast, often inhospitable terrain, mobile phones are a lifeline in this impoverished West African nation.