Mohamed Ould Ghazouani took office August 2, 2019. Prior to being elected president, he was General Director of National Security and former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Mauritania (2008–2018). He was Defence Minister for Mauritania from October 2018 to March 2019. Ghazouani campaigned on continuing economic and security progress made under outgoing president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
Abdel Aziz was sworn in as President at a ceremony held in Nouakchott on 5 August 2009. As the retiring president, 62-year-old Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, was elected for a second term in 2014, he decided to not seek a third term and to abide by the constitution. He mobilized against the terrorists that threatened Mauritania and brought stability to his own country. Under the leadership of the 62-year-old president, the economy has grown and will receive an extra boost when a large offshore gas field starts producing early next decade.