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Niger, See : Flags, Maps

Niger (Africa)

Introduction ::Niger


Niger became independent from France in 1960 and experienced single-party and military rule until 1991, when Gen. Ali SAIBOU was forced by public pressure to allow multiparty elections, which resulted in a democratic government in 1993. Political infighting brought the government to a standstill and in 1996 led to a coup by Col. Ibrahim BARE. In 1999, BARE was killed in a counter coup by military officers who restored democratic rule and held elections that brought Mamadou TANDJA to power in December of that year. TANDJA was reelected in 2004 and in 2009 spearheaded a constitutional amendment that would allow him to extend his term as president. In February 2010, a military coup deposed TANDJA, immediately suspended the constitution and dissolved the Cabinet, and promised that elections would be held following a transitional period of unspecified duration. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world with minimal government services and insufficient funds to develop its resource base. The largely agrarian and subsistence-based economy is frequently disrupted by extended droughts common to the Sahel region of Africa. A predominately Tuareg ethnic group emerged in February 2007, the Nigerien Movement for Justice (MNJ), and attacked several military targets in Niger's northern region throughout 2007 and 2008. Successful government offensives in 2009 limited the rebels' operational capabilities.

Geography ::Niger


Western Africa, southeast of Algeria

Geographic coordinates:
16 00 N, 8 00 E

Map references:



total: 1.267 million sq km country comparison to the world: 22 land: 1,266,700 sq km

water: 300 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries:

total: 5,697 km

border countries: Algeria 956 km, Benin 266 km, Burkina Faso 628 km, Chad 1,175 km, Libya 354 km, Mali 821 km, Nigeria 1,497 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


desert; mostly hot, dry, dusty; tropical in extreme south


predominately desert plains and sand dunes; flat to rolling plains in south; hills in north

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Niger River 200 m

highest point: Idoukal-n-Taghes 2,022 m

Natural resources:

uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, molybdenum, gypsum, salt, petroleum

Land use:

arable land: 11.43%

permanent crops: 0.01%

other: 88.56% (2005)

Irrigated land:

730 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

33.7 cu km (2003)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 2.18 cu km/yr (4%/0%/95%)

per capita: 156 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

recurring droughts

Environment - current issues:

overgrazing; soil erosion; deforestation; desertification; wildlife populations (such as elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, and lion) threatened because of poaching and habitat destruction

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note:

landlocked; one of the hottest countries in the world; northern four-fifths is desert, southern one-fifth is savanna, suitable for livestock and limited agriculture

People ::Niger


15,878,271 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 62

Age structure:

0-14 years: 49.6% (male 3,840,379/female 3,758,674)

15-64 years: 48% (male 3,658,361/female 3,690,373)

65 years and over: 2.3% (male 159,984/female 198,481) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 15.2 years

male: 15 years

female: 15.4 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

3.66% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 1

Birth rate:

51.08 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 1

Death rate:

14.47 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 16

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 113


urban population: 16% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 114.5 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 3 male: 119.52 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 109.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 52.99 years country comparison to the world: 204 male: 51.75 years

female: 54.26 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

7.68 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 1

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.8% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 57

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

60,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 60

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

4,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 50

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne disease: malaria

water contact disease: schistosomiasis

animal contact disease: rabies

respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)


noun: Nigerien(s)

adjective: Nigerien

Ethnic groups:

Haoussa 55.4%, Djerma Sonrai 21%, Tuareg 9.3%, Peuhl 8.5%, Kanouri
Manga 4.7%, other 1.2% (2001 census)


Muslim 80%, other (includes indigenous beliefs and Christian) 20%


French (official), Hausa, Djerma


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 28.7%

male: 42.9%

female: 15.1% (2005 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 5 years

male: 5 years

female: 4 years (2009)

Education expenditures:

3.7% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 124

Government ::Niger

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Niger

conventional short form: Niger

local long form: Republique du Niger

local short form: Niger

Government type:



name: Niamey

geographic coordinates: 13 31 N, 2 07 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

8 regions (regions, singular - region) includes 1 capital district* (communite urbaine); Agadez, Diffa, Dosso, Maradi, Niamey*, Tahoua, Tillaberi, Zinder


3 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday:

Republic Day, 18 December (1958); note - commemorates the founding of the Republic of Niger which predated independence from France in 1960


adopted 18 July 1999

Legal system:

based on French civil law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Djibo SALOU, chairman of the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy, and a leader of the military coup that deposed President Mamadou TANDJA on 18 February 2010

head of government: Prime Minister Mahamadou DANDA (since 19 February 2010); appointed by the president and shares some executive responsibilities with the president

cabinet: 26-member Cabinet appointed by the president (Cabinet dissolved following the 18 February 2010 coup) (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); second round of election last held on 4 December 2004; a presidential election to restore civilian rule is scheduled for 31 January 2011

election results: Mamadou TANDJA reelected president; percent of vote - Mamadou TANDJA 65.5%, Mahamadou ISSOUFOU 34.5%

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly (113 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 20 October 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MNSD 76, RSD 15, RDP 7, PNA-Alouma 1, Alkalami 1, Nigerien Party of the Masses for Labor 1, independents 12

Judicial branch:

State Court or Cour d'Etat; Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel

Political parties and leaders:

Alkalama; Democratic and Social Convention-Rahama or CDS-Rahama
[Mahamane OUSMANE]; National Movement for a Developing
Society-Nassara or MNSD-Nassara [Hama AMADOU]; Niger Social
Democratic Party or PSDN; Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Social
Progress-Zaman Lahiya or ANDP-Zaman Lahiya [Moumouni DJERMAKOYE];
Nigerien Party for Autonomy or PNA-Alouma [Sanousi JACKOU]; Nigerien
Party for Democracy and Socialism or PNDS-Tarrayya [Issifou
MAHAMADOU]; Nigerien Party of the Masses for Labor; Nigerien
Progressive Party or PPN-RDA; Rally for Democracy and Progress or
RDP-jama'a [Hamid ALGABID]; Social and Democratic Rally or
RSD-Gaskiyya [Cheiffou AMADOU]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

The Nigerien Movement for Justice or MNJ, a predominantly Tuareg rebel group

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS (suspended), Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA,

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Aminata Djibrilla Maiga TOURE

chancery: 2204 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-4224 through 4227
FAX: [1] (202)483-3169

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Bisa WILLIAMS

embassy: Rue Des Ambassades, Niamey

mailing address: B. P. 11201, Niamey

telephone: [227] 20-72-26-61 thru 64
FAX: [227] 20-73-31-67

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of orange (top), white, and green with a small orange disk centered in the white band; the orange band denotes the drier northern regions of the Sahara; white stands for purity and innocence; green symbolizes hope and the fertile and productive southern and western areas, as well as the Niger River; the orange disc represents the sun and the sacrifices made by the people

note: similar to the flag of India, which has a blue spoked wheel centered in the white band

National anthem:

name: "La Nigerienne" (The Nigerian)

lyrics/music: Maurice Albert THIRIET/Robert JACQUET and Nicolas Abel Francois FRIONNET

note: adopted 1961

Economy ::Niger

Economy - overview:

Niger is a landlocked, Sub-Saharan nation, whose economy centers on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Drought, desertification, and strong population growth have undercut the economy. Niger shares a common currency, the CFA franc, and a common central bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), with seven other members of the West African Monetary Union. In December 2000, Niger qualified for enhanced debt relief under the International Monetary Fund program for Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and concluded an agreement with the Fund on a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Debt relief provided under the enhanced HIPC initiative significantly reduces Niger's annual debt service obligations, freeing funds for expenditures on basic health care, primary education, HIV/AIDS prevention, rural infrastructure, and other programs geared at poverty reduction. In December 2005, Niger received 100% multilateral debt relief from the IMF, which translates into the forgiveness of approximately US $86 million in debts to the IMF, excluding the remaining assistance under HIPC. In 2010, the Niger economy was recovering from the effects of a 2009 drought that reduced grain and cowpea production and decimated livestock herds. The economy was also hurt when the international community cut off non-humanitarian aid in response to TANDJA's moves to extend his term as president. Nearly half of the government's budget is derived from foreign donor resources. Future growth may be sustained by exploitation of oil, gold, coal, and other mineral resources.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$10.58 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 148 $10.22 billion (2009 est.)

$10.35 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$5.603 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 101 -1.2% (2009 est.)

9.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$700 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 224 $700 (2009 est.)

$700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 39%

industry: 17%

services: 44% (2001)

Labor force:

4.688 million (2007) country comparison to the world: 77

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 90%

industry: 6%

services: 4% (1995)

Unemployment rate:

Population below poverty line:

63% (1993 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.3%

highest 10%: 35.7% (2005)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

50.5 (1995) country comparison to the world: 21

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 10

Central bank discount rate:

4.25% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 96 4.75% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

NA% (31 December 2009 est.)

NA% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$782.6 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 145 $617.9 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$1.038 billion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 164 $844.6 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$683.6 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 158 $313.5 million (31 December 2008)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Agriculture - products:

cowpeas, cotton, peanuts, millet, sorghum, cassava (tapioca), rice; cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, poultry


uranium mining, cement, brick, soap, textiles, food processing, chemicals, slaughterhouses

Industrial production growth rate:

5.1% (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 62

Electricity - production:

150 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 181

Electricity - consumption:

589.5 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 157

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

450 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 151

Oil - consumption:

6,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 162

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 158

Oil - imports:

5,367 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 155

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 148

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 154

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 128

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 148

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 110

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 114

Current account balance:

-$321 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 99


$428 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 170

Exports - commodities:

uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, onions

Exports - partners:

France 52.63%, Nigeria 22.43%, US 18.24% (2009)


$800 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 177

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals

Imports - partners:

China 16.32%, France 15.95%, Netherlands 7.66%, Algeria 7.15%, French Polynesia 6.11%, Nigeria 5.48%, Cote d'Ivoire 4.15%, US 4.05% (2009)

Debt - external:

$2.1 billion (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 138

Exchange rates:

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 506.04 (2009), 447.81 (2008), 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006)

note: since 1 January 1999, the West African CFA franc (XOF) has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro; West African CFA franc (XOF) coins and banknotes are not accepted in countries using Central African CFA francs (XAF), and vice versa, even though the two currencies trade at par

Communications ::Niger

Telephones - main lines in use:

65,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 155

Telephones - mobile cellular:

2.599 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 121

Telephone system:

general assessment: inadequate; small system of wire, radio telephone communications, and microwave radio relay links concentrated in the southwestern area of Niger

domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity remains less than 20 per 100 persons despite a rapidly increasing cellular subscribership base; domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations and 1 planned

international: country code - 227; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) (2009)

Broadcast media:

state-run TV station; 3 private TV stations provide a mix of local and foreign programming; only national radio station with national reach is state-run; about 30 private radio stations operate locally; as many as 100 community radio stations broadcast; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

172 (2010) country comparison to the world: 198

Internet users:

115,900 (2009) country comparison to the world: 155

Transportation ::Niger


27 (2010) country comparison to the world: 123

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 10

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 17

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 14

under 914 m: 1 (2010)


total: 18,949 km country comparison to the world: 113 paved: 3,912 km

unpaved: 15,037 km (2008)


300 km; (the Niger, the only major river, is navigable to Gaya between September and March) (2008) country comparison to the world: 94

Military ::Niger

Military branches:

Nigerien Armed Forces (Forces Armees Nigeriennes, FAN): Army,
Nigerien Air Force (Force Aerienne du Niger) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

17-21 years of age for selective compulsory or voluntary military service; enlistees must be Nigerien citizens and unmarried; 2-year service term; women may serve in health care (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 3,202,237

females age 16-49: 3,151,521 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,104,378

females age 16-49: 2,129,985 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 177,985

female: 172,180 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 117

Transnational Issues ::Niger

Disputes - international:

Libya claims about 25,000 sq km in a currently dormant dispute in the Tommo region; much of Benin-Niger boundary, including tripoint with Nigeria, remains undemarcated; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty that also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation; caste-based slavery practices, rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships, continue in isolated areas of the country - an estimated 8,800 to 43,000 Nigeriens live under conditions of traditional slavery; children are trafficked within Niger for forced begging, forced labor in gold mines, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, and possibly for forced labor in agriculture and stone quarries; women and children from neighboring states are trafficked to and through Niger for domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, forced labor in mines and on farms, and as mechanics and welders

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the Government of Niger does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making any significant efforts to do so; the government demonstrated marginal efforts to combat human trafficking, including traditional slavery, during the last year (2009)


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