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Map of Niger
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 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.
Geography Niger
Western Africa, southeast of Algeria
Geographic coordinates:
16 00 N, 8 00 E
Map references:
total: 1.267 million sq km
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: Mont Bagzane 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)
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
12,525,094 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46.9% (male 2,994,022/female 2,882,273)
15-64 years: 50.7% (male 3,262,114/female 3,083,522)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 150,982/female 152,181) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.5 years
male: 16.5 years
female: 16.4 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.92% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
50.73 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
20.91 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 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: 0.99 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 118.25 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 122.29 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 114.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 43.76 years
male: 43.8 years
female: 43.73 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
7.46 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
70,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
4,800 (2003 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 is a high risk in some locations
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2005)
noun: Nigerien(s)
adjective: Nigerien
Ethnic groups:
Hausa 56%, Djerma 22%, Fula 8.5%, Tuareg 8%, Beri Beri (Kanouri) 4.3%, Arab, Toubou, and Gourmantche 1.2%, about 1,200 French expatriates
Muslim 80%, remainder indigenous beliefs and Christian
French (official), Hausa, Djerma
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 17.6%
male: 25.8%
female: 9.7% (2003 est.)
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)
new constitution 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: President Mamadou TANDJA (since 22 December 1999); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Mamadou TANDJA (since 22 December 1999); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government; Prime Minister Hama AMADOU (since 31 December 1999) was 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 last held 4 December 2004 (next to be held December 2009); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Mamadou TANDJA reelected president; percent of vote - Mamadou TANDJA 65.5%, Mahamadou ISSOUFOU 34.5%
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (113 seats; note - expanded from 83 seats; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
elections: last held 4 December 2004 (next to be held December 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - MNSD 47, CDS 22, PNDS 25, RSD 7, RDP 6, ANDP 5, PSDN 1
Judicial branch:
State Court or Cour d'Etat; Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel
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]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Coalition Against a High Cost of Living [Nouhou ARZIKA]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Fatima Djibo SIDIKOU
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 (vacant); Charge d'Affaires John DAVISON
embassy: Rue Des Ambassades, Niamey
mailing address: B. P. 11201, Niamey
telephone: [227] 72 26 61 through 72 26 64
FAX: [227] 73 31 67, 72-31-46
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
Economy Niger
Economy - overview:
Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 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, a 2.9% population growth rate, and the drop in world demand for uranium 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, it was announced that Niger had received 100% multilateral debt relief from the IMF, which translates into the forgiveness of approximately $86 million USD 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 recovered somewhat in the last few years. A drought and locust infestation in 2005 led to food shortages for as many as 2.5 million Nigerians.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$11.28 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$3.432 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$900 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 39%
industry: 17%
services: 44% (2001)
Labor force:
70,000 salaried workers, 60% of whom are employed in the public sector (2002 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 90%
industry: 6%
services: 4%
Unemployment rate:
Population below poverty line:
63% (1993 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 0.8%
highest 10%: 35.4% (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
50.5 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.2% (2004 est.)
revenues: $320 million - including $134 million from foreign sources
expenditures: $320 million; including capital expenditures of $178 million (2002 est.)
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.)
Electricity - production:
230 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
263.9 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
50 million kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
5,400 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
$222 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, onions
Exports - partners:
France 48%, Nigeria 21.5%, US 20.3% (2005)
$588 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals
Imports - partners:
France 14.9%, US 10.9%, French Polynesia 7.7%, Nigeria 7.6%, Italy 6.9%, Cote d'Ivoire 5.2%, Belgium 4.7%, Germany 4.6%, China 4.6% (2005)
Debt - external:
$2.1 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$453.3 million (2003)
Currency (code):
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States (BCEAO)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Niger
Telephones - main lines in use:
24,000 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
148,300 (2004)
Telephone system:
general assessment: small system of wire, radio telephone communications, and microwave radio relay links concentrated in the southwestern area of Niger
domestic: wire, radiotelephone communications, and microwave radio relay; 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)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 5, FM 6, shortwave 4 (2001)
680,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
3 (plus seven low-power repeaters) (2002)
125,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
137 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2002)
Internet users:
24,000 (2005)
Transportation Niger
28 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 2 (2006)
total: 10,100 km
paved: 798 km
unpaved: 9,302 km (1999)
300 km (the Niger, the only major river, is navigable to Gaya between September and March) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Military Niger
Military branches:
Nigerien Armed Forces (Forces Armees Nigeriennes, FAN): Army, National Air Force (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - two years (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 2,367,828
females age 18-49: 2,217,568 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,349,863
females age 18-49: 1,256,569 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 129,045
females age 18-49: 121,230 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$44.78 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.4% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Niger
Disputes - international:
Libya claims about 25,000 sq km in a currently dormant dispute; 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

This page was last updated on 19 September, 2006