Niger [Country Flag of Niger]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Niger]



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Location: Western Africa, southeast of Algeria

Geographic coordinates: 16 00 N, 8 00 E

Map references: Africa

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

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: Mont Greboun 1,944 m

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

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 7%
forests and woodland: 2%
other: 88% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 660 sq km (1993 est.)

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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography—note: landlocked


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Population: 9,671,848 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 48% (male 2,374,482; female 2,277,176)
15-64 years: 50% (male 2,345,773; female 2,447,951)
65 years and over: 2% (male 119,644; female 106,822) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.96% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 53.01 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 23.38 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 114.39 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 41.52 years
male: 41.83 years
female: 41.21 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 7.3 children born/woman (1998 est.)

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

Religions: Muslim 80%, remainder indigenous beliefs and Christians

Languages: French (official), Hausa, Djerma

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 13.6%
male: 20.9%
female: 6.6% (1995 est.)


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

Data code: NG

Government type: republic

National capital: Niamey

Administrative divisions: 7 departments (departements, singular—departement), and 1 capital district* (capitale district); Agadez, Diffa, Dosso, Maradi, Niamey*, Tahoua, Tillaberi, Zinder

Independence: 3 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: Republic Day, 18 December (1958)

Constitution: the constitution of January 1993 was revised by national referendum on 12 May 1996

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

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ibrahim BARE Mainassara (since 28 January 1996); note—the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Ibrahim BARE Mainassara (since 28 January 1996); Prime Minister Ibrahim MAYAKI (since 27 November 1997) was appointed by the president; note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by President BARE
elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; last election 7-8 July 1996 (next election NA 2001); note—Ibrahim BARE Mainassara initially became president when he ousted President Mahamane OUSMANE in a coup on 27 January 1996 and subsequently defeated him in the flawed election of July 1996
election results: percent of total vote—Ibrahim BARE Mainassara 52.22%, Mahamane OUSMANE 19.75%, Tandja MAMADOU 15.65%, Mahamadou ISSOUFOU 7.60%, Moumouni AMADOU Djermakoye 4.77%

Legislative branch: two chamber National Assembly; one chamber with 83 seats directly elected by proportional representation for five-year terms; selection process for second chamber not established
elections: last held 23 November 1996 (next to be held NA 2001)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—UNIRD 59, ANDPS-Zaman Lahiya 8, UDPS-Amana 3, coalition of independents 3, MDP-Alkwali 1, UPDP-Shamuwa 4, DARAJA 3, PMT-Albarka 2

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

Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP-AUMUNCI [Issoufou BACHARD, chairman]; DARAJA [Ali TALBA, chairman]; Democratic and Social Convention-Rahama or CDS-Rahama [Mahamane OUSMANE]; Movement for Development and Pan-Africanism or MDP-Alkwali [Mai Manga BOUCAR, chairman]; National Movement of the Development Society-Nassara or MNSD-Nassara [Tandja MAMADOU, chairman]; National Union of Independents for Democratic Revival or UNIRD [leader NA]; Niger Progressive Party-African Democratic Rally or PPN-RDA [Dori ABDOULAI]; Niger Social Democrat Party or PADN [Malam Adji WAZIRI]; Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism-Tarayya or PNDS-Tarayya [Mahamadou ISSOUFOU]; Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Social Progress-Zaman Lahia or ANDPS-Zaman Lahia [Moumouni Adamou DJERMAKOYE]; PMT-Albarka; Union for Democracy and Social Progress-Amana or UDPS-Amana [Akoli DAOUEL]; Union of Patriots, Democrats, and Progressives-Shamuwa or UPDP-Shamuwa [Professor Andre' SALIFOU, chairman]; Union of Popular Forces for Democracy and Progress-Sawaba or UFPDP-Sawaba [Djibo BAKARY, chairman]

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIPONUH, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WADB, WAEMU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph DIATTA
chancery: 2204 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-4224 through 4227

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Charles O. CECIL
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

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


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Economy—overview: Niger is a poor, landlocked Sub-Saharan nation, whose economy centers on subsistence agriculture, animal husbandry, reexport trade, and increasingly less on uranium, its major export since the 1970s. Terms of trade with Nigeria, Niger's largest regional trade partner, have improved dramatically since the 50% devaluation of the West African franc in January 1994; this devaluation boosted exports of livestock, cowpeas, onions, and the products of Niger's small cotton industry. The government relies on bilateral and multilateral aid for operating expenses and public investment and is strongly induced to adhere to structural adjustment programs designed by the IMF and the World Bank. The US terminated bilateral assistance to Niger after the coup of 1996. Other donors have reduced their aid.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$6.3 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4.5% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$670 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 41%
industry: 18%
services: 41% (1996)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 5.3% (1996)

Labor force:
total: 70,000 receive regular wages or salaries
by occupation: agriculture 90%, industry and commerce 6%, government 4%

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $370 million (including $160 million from foreign sources)
expenditures: $370 million, including capital expenditures of $186 million (1998 est.)

Industries: cement, brick, textiles, food processing, chemicals, slaughterhouses, and a few other small light industries; uranium mining

Industrial production growth rate: 0.5% (1994 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 63,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 170 million kWh (1995)
note: imports about 200 million kWh of electricity from Nigeria

Electricity—consumption per capita: 40 kWh (1995)

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

total value: $188 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: uranium ore 67%, livestock products 20%, cowpeas, onions
partners: France 41%, Nigeria 22%, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Japan 18%

total value: $374 million (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: consumer goods, primary materials, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals
partners: France 24%, Nigeria 19%, Cote d'Ivoire, China, Belgium-Luxembourg

Debt—external: $1.3 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA; bilateral donors: France, Germany, EU, Japan

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: CFA francs (CFAF) per US$1—608.36 (January 1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996), 499.15 (1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993)
note: beginning 12 January 1994, the CFA franc was devalued to CFAF 100 per French franc from CFAF 50 at which it had been fixed since 1948

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 14,000 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: small system of wire, radiotelephone communications, and microwave radio relay links concentrated in southwestern area
domestic: wire, radiotelephone communications, and microwave radio relay; domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations and 1 planned
international: satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 15, FM 6, shortwave 0

Radios: 500,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 18 stations in a single network (1995)

Televisions: 38,000 (1992 est.)


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Railways: 0 km

total: 10,100 km
paved: 798 km
unpaved: 9,302 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: Niger river is navigable 300 km from Niamey to Gaya on the Benin frontier from mid-December through March

Ports and harbors: none

Airports: 27 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 3 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: Army, Air Force, National Gendarmerie, Republican Guard, National Police

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 2,049,296 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 1,105,821 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 98,946 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $23 million (FY97/98)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 1.3% (FY92/93)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: Libya claims about 19,400 sq km in northern Niger; demarcation of international boundaries in the vicinity of Lake Chad, the lack of which led to border incidents in the past, is completed and awaits ratification by Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria