Introduction

Africa :: Niger

Background:
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. ISSOUFOU Mahamadou emerged victorious from a crowded field in the election following the coup and was inaugurated in April 2011. 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. The Nigerien Movement for Justice, a predominately Tuareg ethnic group, emerged in February 2007, and attacked several military targets in Niger's northern region throughout 2007 and 2008. Successful government offensives in 2009 limited the rebels' operational capabilities. Niger is facing increased security concerns on its borders from various external threats including insecurity in Libya and spillover from the rebellion in Mali.

Geography

Location:
Western Africa, southeast of Algeria

Geographic coordinates:
16 00 N, 8 00 E

Map references:
Africa

Area:
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

Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)

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

Terrain:
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: 11.79%
Permanent crops: 0.05%
Other: 88.16% (2011)

Irrigated land:
736.6 sq km (2005)

Total renewable water resources:
33.65 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.98 cu km/yr (30%/3%/67%)
Per capita: 70.53 cu m/yr (2005)

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 and Society

Nationality:
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)

Languages:
French (official), Hausa, Djerma

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

Population:
16,899,327 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 63

Age structure:
0-14 years: 50% (male 4,261,662/female 4,183,112)
15-24 years: 18.2% (male 1,519,241/female 1,557,267)
25-54 years: 25.9% (male 2,188,451/female 2,194,606)
55-64 years: 3.3% (male 283,955/female 265,460)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 226,454/female 219,119) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 111.5 %
Youth dependency ratio: 105.9 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 5.5 %
Potential support ratio: 18.1 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 15 years
Male: 14.9 years
Female: 15.1 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
3.32% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 6

Birth rate:
46.84 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 1

Death rate:
13.07 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 21

Net migration rate:
-0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 139

Urbanization:
Urban population: 17.8% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: 4.91% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
NIAMEY (capital) 1.004 million (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
18 (2006 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
590 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 14

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 87.98 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 7
Male: 92.64 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 83.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 54.34 years
Country comparison to the world: 207
Male: 53.17 years
Female: 55.55 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
7.03 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 1

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
13.9% (2012)

Health expenditures:
5.2% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 133

Physicians density:
0.02 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density:
0.31 beds/1,000 population (2005)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 39% of population
total: 49% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 61% of population
total: 51% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 34% of population
rural: 4% of population
total: 9% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 66% of population
rural: 96% of population
total: 91% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.8% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 56

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
61,000 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 54

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
4,300 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 42

Major infectious diseases:
Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis
Respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
Animal contact disease: rabies
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 (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
2.4% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 180

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
39.9% (2006)
Country comparison to the world: 5

Education expenditures:
4.5% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 94

Literacy:
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: 6 years
Female: 5 years (2011)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 1,557,913
Percentage: 43 % (2006 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 3.2%
Country comparison to the world: 138
Male: 4%
Female: 1.7% (2001)

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: Republic of Niger
Conventional short form: Niger
Local long form: Republique du Niger
Local short form: Niger

Government type:
republic

Capital:
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

Independence:
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

Constitution:
adopted 31 October 2010

Legal system:
mixed legal system of civil law (based on French civil law), Islamic law, and customary law

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President ISSOUFOU Mahamadou (since 7 April 2011)
Head of government: Prime Minister Brigi RAFINI (since 7 April 2011); 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); candidate must receive a majority of the votes to be elected president; a presidential election to restore civilian rule was held 31 January 2011 with a runoff election between ISSOUFOU Mahamadou and Seini OUMAROU held on 12 March 2011
Election results: ISSOUFOU Mahamadou elected president in a runoff election; percent of vote - ISSOUFOU Mahamadou 58%, Seini OUMAROU 42%

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (113 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held on 31 January 2011
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PNDS-Tarrayya 39, MNSD-Nassara 26, MODEN/FA-Lumana 24, ANDP-Zaman Lahiya 8, RDP-Jama'a 7, UDR-Tabbat 6, CDS-Rahama 2, UNI 1

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Constitutional Court (consists of 7 judges); High Court of Justice (consists of 7 members)
Judge selection and term of office: Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president; judges serve 6-year nonrenewable consecutive terms; High Judicial Court members selected from among the legislature and judiciary; members serve 5-year terms
Subordinate courts: Court of Cassation; Council of State; Court of Finances; various specialized tribunals and customary courts

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic and Social Convention-Rahama or CDS-Rahama [Mahamane OUSMANE]
National Movement for a Developing Society-Nassara or MNSD-Nassara
Niger Social Democratic Party or PSDN
Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Social Progress-Zaman Lahiya or ANDP-Zaman Lahiya [Moumouni DJERMAKOYE]
Nigerien Democratic Movement for an African Federation or MODEN/FA Lumana
Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism or PNDS-Tarrayya [ISSOUFOU Mahamadou]
Rally for Democracy and Progress-Jama'a or RDP-Jama'a [Hamid ALGABID]
Social and Democratic Rally or RSD-Gaskiyya [Cheiffou AMADOU]
Union for Democracy and the Republic-Tabbat or UDR-Tabbat
Union of Independent Nigeriens or UNI
note: the SPLM and SPLM-DC are banned political parties

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

International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AU, CD, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Mamon Sambo 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 Bisa WILLIAMS
Embassy: Rue Des Ambassades, Niamey
Mailing address: B. P. 11201, Niamey; Public Affairs Section (PAS), 2420 Niamey PL, Dulles, VA 20189-2420
Telephone: [227] 20-73-31-69 or [227] 20-72-39-41
FAX: [227] 20-73-55-60

National anthem:
Name: "La Nigerienne" (The Nigerian)
Lyrics/music: Maurice Albert THIRIET/Robert JACQUET and Nicolas Abel Francois FRIONNET
note: adopted 1961

Economy

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. Agriculture contributes about 40% of GDP and provides livelihood for about 90% of the population. Niger also has sizable reserves of oil, and oil production, refining, and exports are expected to grow significantly between 2011 and 2016. 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 reduced 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 translated into the forgiveness of approximately US$86 million in debts to the IMF, excluding the remaining assistance under HIPC. The economy was 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. The government, however, has made efforts to secure a new three-year extended credit facility with the IMF following the one that completed in 2011. Oil revenue to the government has fallen well short of its budgeted level. Strikes risk undermining political stability. Food security remains a problem in Niger and is exacerbated by refugees from Mali.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$13.34 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 145
$12 billion (2011 est.)
$11.74 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$6.575 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
11.2% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 4
2.2% (2011 est.)
10.7% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$800 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 221
$800 (2011 est.)
$800 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
30.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 23
26.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
21.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 67.9%
Government consumption: 18%
Investment in fixed capital: 56.1%
Investment in inventories: 0%
Exports of goods and services: 24.5%
Imports of goods and services: -66.6%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 39.6%
Industry: 17.1%
Services: 43.2% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
cowpeas, cotton, peanuts, millet, sorghum, cassava (manioc), rice; cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, poultry

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

Industrial production growth rate:
12.6% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 5

Labor force:
4.688 million (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 83

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 90%
Industry: 6%
Services: 4% (1995)

Unemployment rate:
NA%

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

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 3.7%
Highest 10%: 28.5% (2007)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
34 (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 93
50.5 (1995)

Budget:
Revenues: $1.698 billion (2012 est.)
Expenditures: $1.871 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
25.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 121

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-2.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 103

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.5% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 8
2.9% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
4.25% (31 December 2009)
Country comparison to the world: 74
4.75% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
4% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 166
4.3% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$1.284 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 142
$939.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$1.201 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 163
$1.171 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$915 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 161
$825.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Current account balance:
-$1.628 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 130
-$1.697 billion (2011 est.)

Exports:
$1.389 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 149
$1.233 billion (2011 est.)

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

Exports - partners:
Nigeria 41%, US 17%, India 14.1%, Italy 8.5%, China 7.7%, Ghana 5.7% (2012)

Imports:
$2.328 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 159
$2.217 billion (2011 est.)

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

Imports - partners:
France 14.2%, China 11.1%, French Polynesia 9.9%, Nigeria 9.7%, Togo 5.5% (2012)

Debt - external:
$1.543 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 149
$1.408 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
510.53 (2012 est.)
471.87 (2011 est.)
495.28 (2010)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
210 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 178

Electricity - consumption:
695.3 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 158

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 109

Electricity - imports:
500 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 77

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
145,000 kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 158

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 28

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 148

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 187

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 165

Crude oil - production:
6,712 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 85

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 159

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 105

Crude oil - proved reserves:
NA bbl (1 January 2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 118

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
5,629 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 165

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 206

Refined petroleum products - imports:
3,330 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 165

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 172

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 178

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 152

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 104

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 175

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
1.796 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 151

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
85,900 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 148

Telephones - mobile cellular:
4.743 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 110

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 only about 30 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) (2010)

Broadcast media:
state-run TV station; 3 private TV stations provide a mix of local and foreign programming; state-run radio has only radio station with a national reach; 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:
.ne

Internet hosts:
454 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 185

Internet users:
115,900 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 155

Transportation

Airports:
30 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 115

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 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 15
Under 914 m:
2 (2013)

Heliports:
1 (2013)

Roadways:
Total: 18,949 km
Country comparison to the world: 113
Paved: 3,912 km
Unpaved: 15,037 km (2008)

Waterways:
300 km (the Niger, the only major river, is navigable to Gaya between September and March) (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 94

Military

Military branches:
Nigerien Armed Forces (Forces Armees Nigeriennes, FAN): Army, Nigerien Air Force (Force Aerienne du Niger) (2012)

Military service age and obligation:
18 is the presumed legal minimum age for compulsory or voluntary military service; enlistees must be Nigerien citizens and unmarried; 2-year service term; women may serve in health care (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 3,329,184
Females age 16-49: 3,267,669 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 2,194,570
Females age 16-49: 2,219,416 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 186,348
Female: 180,779 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
0.9% of GDP (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 132

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
Libya claims about 25,000 sq km in a currently dormant dispute in the Tommo region; location of Benin-Niger-Nigeria tripoint is unresolved; 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; the dispute with Burkina Faso was referred to the ICJ in 2010

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Refugees (country of origin): 50,000 (Mali) (2013)
IDPs: undetermined (unknown how many of the 11,000 people displaced by clashes between government forces and the Tuareg militant group, Niger Movement for Justice, in 2007 are still displaced; inter-communal violence) (2012)

Flag of Niger



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