NIGER

Date of establishment: August 3, 1960

Brief history:

  • 1960: On August 3, 1960, Niger gained independence from France and became an independent republic with its capital in Niamey. Hamani Diori was the first president of Niger.
  • 1960–1974: The first decade of independence was marked by political instability, but also economic difficulties and other problems.
  • 1974: President Diori was overthrown in a military coup, Colonel Seyni Kountché took over and led the country as president until his death in 1987.
  • 1993: After several decades of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in Niger and the first free elections were held, leading to the inauguration of a civilian president, Mahamane Ousmane.
  • 1996: Another military coup took place in the country, which overthrew President Ousmane and brought Colonel Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara to power.
  • 1999: After the death of Colonel Maïnassara, new presidential elections were held, in which Mamadou Tandja won. Tandja was reelected in 2004.
  • 2010: President Tandja tried to extend his time in office and dissolved the Constitutional Court. However, this drew international condemnation and eventually Tandja was overthrown in another military coup.
  • 2011: In early 2011, presidential elections were held in Niger, which Mahamadou Issoufou won.
  • In 2021 Mohamed Bazoum was elected president and served until 2023, when he was overthrown by a military coup.
  • Niger faces various challenges, including the security situation on its borders with Libya and Nigeria and the impact of drought on the country’s economy. It also remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

 

International abbreviation: NO

 

Currency: West African franc (CFA)

It is the common currency of the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Community. This currency is used in countries that were formerly French colonies.

 

Internet domain: .ne

 

Dialing code: +227

 

Time zone: GMT +1

 

Geography:

Most of the northern part is covered by the Sahara Desert, which is one of the largest deserts in the world. The area is home to sand dunes such as the Ténéré and the Erg of Bilma sand sea.

The Sahel is the region that lies south of the Sahara. The country has several rivers that flow through its territory. The largest of these is the Niger, which flows from northwest to southeast and creates a fertile delta region in the south of the country. The Aïr Mountains is a range that includes several mountains, the highest of which is Mont Idoukal-n-Taghès.

Located in the central part of the Sahara, the Ténéré Valley is one of the driest and least populated places in the world. It is known for its extreme dryness and beautiful sand dunes.

The southern part falls into the Sudan region, where the climate is more humid and more suitable for agriculture. The area is an agricultural center and has rich biodiversity.

 

Highest peak: Mont Idoukal-n-Taghès 2 022 m (6 634 feet) above sea level.

It is located in the Aïr Mountains in the north of the country.

 

Climate:

The northern part, which is largely covered by the Sahara Desert, has a typical desert climate. It is very dry and hot, with extreme temperature swings between day and night. Rainfall is rare and limited.

The Sahel region, located south of the Sahara, has a steppe climate. On average, there is more rainfall than in the desert, but it is still an area with a dry season and a rainy season. Seasonal rains are key to agriculture in the area. The southern part of Niger falls into the Sudan region, where the climate is more humid. There the rainy season is longer and the vegetation is richer.

 

Fauna and flora:

Camels are common in desert regions and are important animals for nomads who use them for transport and foraging.

Elephants live mainly in national parks and reserves. However, their population has been threatened by poaching in the past. Several national parks, including the W du Niger National Park, are home to African lions. Niger is home to various species of antelope, including gazelles and addax. Crocodiles, especially the Nile crocodile, live in rivers and lakes.

Acacias and other drought-resistant trees and shrubs grow in arid regions, including the Sahara. Baobabs are the iconic trees of West Africa and can also be seen in Niger. Their imposing trunks and distinctive shape make baobabs prominent symbols of the region.

The Niger River Delta is home to swamps and wetlands where various types of aquatic plants such as reeds and water lilies grow.

 

Agriculture:

In the higher rainfall areas of southern Niger, the cultivation of cereals, especially millet, millet, maize, and rice, is an important part of agriculture.

Shifting agriculture is practiced in areas of the Sahel where there is seasonal rain. Farmers use the rains to grow crops such as sorghum and also to graze livestock.

Pastoralism is an important livelihood. People keep livestock, including goats, sheep, cattle, and camels, and use them as a source of food and milk, and for trade.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Niger is one of the world’s main producers of uranium, which is used to produce nuclear power. Uranium mining is mainly concentrated in the Agadez region in northern Niger.

Gold mining also has a significant place in Niger’s mining industry. It is mined in several areas, including the Tillabéri region in the west of the country. Some parts of the country contain copper and cobalt reserves. Salt is extracted in some areas. In Niger, there are also precious stones such as opals and topazes.

 

Industry:

Niger has a limited manufacturing industry, which includes cement production, as well as textiles and food industries.

 

Services and other areas of the economy:

 

Natural and historical attractions: the Aïr mountains, the cities of Agadez and Zinder, and the Ténéré region

Niger has vast desert areas like the Sahara in the north. Many adventurers and tourists come to the country to explore the sand dunes.

W du Niger National Park is one of the main tourist destinations in the country. The Aïr Mountains, a range in northern Niger, is known for its imposing rock formations and dramatic landscapes. It is an ideal place for hiking and exploring traditional nomadic cultures. Agadez is a historic city, known for its ancient mosques, markets and traditional craft workshops.

Located in the Zinder region, Dallol Bosso Canyon offers beautiful scenery and an opportunity for tourists to explore the rock formations and swim in the Dallol Bosso River.

Various cultural festivals and markets are held, where you can experience local culture, music, dances, and traditional crafts.

 

Waterparks in Niger:

 

Form of government: semi-presidential republic

Civilian rule and the constitution were suspended after a military coup in 2023.

Previously the president was the head of state and the prime minister was the head of government. There was a unicameral elected National Assembly.

 

Capital city: Niamey

It is located in the western part of the country, near the border with Benin, on the banks of the Niger River. The area where Niamey is located today has been inhabited since prehistoric times when there were traditional villages.

 

Area: 1 267 000 km2 (489 191 square miles)

 

Population: 24 500 000 (2022)

Niger is a country with a diverse ethnic composition and cultures. The largest group are the Hauz, who make up the majority of the population. Other ethnic groups are the Tuareg, Fulbe, and Kanuri.

The main religion is Islam, which is the majority religion and forms an important part of culture and society. However, there are also smaller religions, including Christianity and traditional African religions. The official language is French, a holdover from the colonial era when Niger was a French colony. French is taught in schools and used in official documents, government, and public administration. The country’s population faces several challenges, including poverty and lack of access to basic services such as education and healthcare.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 3

 

  1. Aïr and Ténéré Nature Reserve (1991) – Two nature reserves that are the largest protected area in Africa.
  2. W-Arly-Pendjari Protected Areas (1996) – Protected areas of the so-called Sudan-Sahel Savannah ecoregion on the borders of Benin, Niger, and Burkina Faso.
  3. Historic Center of Agadez (2013) – A historic city from the 15th and 16th centuries. The gateway to the Sahara Desert.

 

National parks: 1

 

1. W du Niger National Park