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  Introduction Back To Top

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 coup by military officers who promptly restored democratic rule and held elections that brought Mamadou TANDJA to power in December of that year. TANDJA was reelected in 2004. 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. Events have since evolved into a fledging insurgency.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 2.18 cu km/yr (4%/0%/95%)
per capita: 156 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
33.7 cu km (2003)

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

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

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

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
16 00 N, 8 00 E

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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Niger River 200 m
highest point: Mont Bagzane 2,022 m

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

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

total: 1.267 million sq km
land: 1,266,700 sq km
water: 300 sq km

Western Africa, southeast of Algeria

0 km (landlocked)

Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Irrigated land:
730 sq km (2003)

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

Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)

Natural hazards:
recurring droughts

Land use:
arable land: 11.43%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 88.56% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
7.29 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.2% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
70,000 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 44.28 years
male: 44.3 years
female: 44.26 years (2008 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
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 (2008)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 28.7%
male: 42.9%
female: 15.1% (2005 est.)

Net migration rate:
-0.57 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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

Median age:
total: 16.4 years
male: 16.5 years
female: 16.4 years (2008 est.)

13,272,679 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
3.4% of GDP (2006)

Population growth rate:
2.878% (2008 est.)

French (official), Hausa, Djerma

Death rate:
20.26 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 115.42 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 119.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 111.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
4,800 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 4 years
male: 5 years
female: 3 years (2006)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 47% (male 3,174,834/female 3,057,003)
15-64 years: 50.6% (male 3,450,393/female 3,267,496)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 159,945/female 163,008) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
49.62 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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

noun: Nigerien(s)
adjective: Nigerien

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Bernadette M. ALLEN
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

National holiday:
Republic Day, 18 December (1958)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:

Political pressure groups and leaders:
The Nigerien Movement for Justice or MNJ, a predominantly Tuareg rebel group

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

International organization participation:

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (113 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 4 December 2004 (next to be held in December 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MNSD 47, PNDS 25, CDS 22, RSD 7, RDP 6, ANDP 5, PSDN 1

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

Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of orange (top), white, and green with a small orange disk (representing the sun) centered in the white band; similar to the flag of India, which has a blue spoked wheel centered in the white band

3 August 1960 (from France)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Republic of Niger
conventional short form: Niger
local long form: Republique du Niger
local short form: Niger

Political parties and leaders:
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'a [Sanousi JACKOU]; Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism or PNDS-Tarrayya [Issifou MAHAMADOU]; Nigerien Progressive Party or PPN-RDA [Abdoulaye DIORI]; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP-jama'a [Hamid ALGABID]; Social and Democratic Rally or RSD-Gaskiyya [Cheiffou AMADOU]

name: Niamey
geographic coordinates: 13 31 N, 2 07 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

new constitution adopted 18 July 1999

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Mamadou TANDJA (since 22 December 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Seyni OUMAROU (since 3 June 2007); appointed by the president and shares some executive responsibilities with the president
cabinet: 26-member Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); second round of election last held 4 December 2004 (next to be held December 2009)
election results: Mamadou TANDJA reelected president; percent of vote - Mamadou TANDJA 65.5%, Mahamadou ISSOUFOU 34.5%

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

Judicial branch:
State Court or Cour d'Etat; Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
France 57%, Nigeria 26.4%, Ghana 4.1% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
443.2 million kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
4.25% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
225 million kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$321 million (2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$2.1 billion (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate:

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$700 (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$318.9 million (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$9.657 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$5.322 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
50.5 (1995)

Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar 438.77 (2008 est.), 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004)
note: since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro

GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$604.5 million (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
70,000 salaried workers, 60% of whom are employed in the public sector (1995)

Imports - partners:
France 15.9%, French Polynesia 8.8%, Nigeria 8.6%, Belgium 8.6%, US 6.9%, Cote d'Ivoire 5.6% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.1% (2007 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 39%
industry: 17%
services: 44% (2001)

Oil - imports:
5,425 bbl/day (2005)

$428 million f.o.b. (2006)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States

Economy - overview:
Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking near last on the United Nations Development Fund index of human development. It is a landlocked, Sub-Saharan nation, whose economy centers on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Drought cycles, 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. 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. Uranium prices have increased sharply in the last few years. A drought and locust infestation in 2005 led to food shortages for as many as 2.5 million Nigeriens.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals

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

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
63% (1993 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

Stock of quasi money:
$193.7 million (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
240 million kWh (2006 est.)

$800 million f.o.b. (2006)

Oil - proved reserves:
NA bbl

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 90%
industry: 6%
services: 4% (1995)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
5,550 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 0.8%
highest 10%: 35.4% (1995)

Exports - commodities:
uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, onions

Economic aid - recipient:
$515.4 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $320 million (includes $134 million from foreign sources)
expenditures: $320 million (2002 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
40,000 (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
24,000 (2005)

125,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 5, FM 6, shortwave 4 (2001)

680,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
900,000 (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
5 (2007)

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 only about 7 per 100 persons; 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)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2002)

Internet hosts:
216 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

300 km (the Niger, the only major river, is navigable to Gaya between September and March) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
under 914 m: 1 (2007)

total: 18,550 km
paved: 3,803 km
unpaved: 14,747 km (2006)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 3 (2007)

28 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; 2-year service term; women may serve in health care (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,871,868
females age 16-49: 2,696,966 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,665,108
females age 16-49: 1,548,965 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Nigerien Armed Forces (Forces Armees Nigeriennes, FAN): Army, Niger Air Force (Force Aerienne du Niger) (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 150,728
female: 143,379 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
1.3% of GDP (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

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 which 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 - Niger is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking in 2007; in particular, measures to combat and eliminate traditional slavery practices were weak; the government's overall law enforcement efforts have stalled from 2006; while efforts to protect child trafficking victims were steady, the government failed to provide services to or rescue adult victims subjected to traditional slavery practices, and made poor efforts to educate the public about traditional slavery practices in general (2008)

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