[Country map of Niger]



Location: Western Africa, southeast of Algeria

Map references: Africa

total area: 1.267 million sq km
land area: 1,266,700 sq km
comparative area: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries: total 5,697 km, Algeria 956 km, Benin 266 km, Burkina 628 km, Chad 1,175 km, Libya 354 km, Mali 821 km, Nigeria 1,497 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none; landlocked

International disputes: Libya claims about 19,400 sq km in northern Niger; demarcation of international boundaries in Lake Chad, the lack of which has led to border incidents in the past, is completed and awaiting ratification by Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria; Burkina and Mali are proceeding with boundary demarcation, including the tripoint with Niger

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

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

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 7%
forest and woodland: 2%
other: 88%

Irrigated land: 320 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: overgrazing; soil erosion; deforestation; desertification; wildlife populations (such as elephant, hippopotamus, and lion) threatened because of poaching and habitat destruction
natural hazards: recurring droughts
international agreements: party to - Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea

Note: landlocked


Population: 9,280,208 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 49% (female 2,275,338; male 2,275,999)
15-64 years: 49% (female 2,314,857; male 2,188,938)
65 years and over: 2% (female 107,432; male 117,644) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.4% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 54.8 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 20.8 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 109.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 45.07 years
male: 43.42 years
female: 46.77 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 7.35 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Nigerien(s)
adjective: Nigerien

Ethnic divisions: Hausa 56%, Djerma 22%, Fula 8.5%, Tuareg 8%, Beri Beri (Kanouri) 4.3%, Arab, Toubou, and Gourmantche 1.2%, about 4,000 French expatriates

Religions: Muslim 80%, remainder indigenous beliefs and Christians

Languages: French (official), Hausa, Djerma

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1988)
total population: 11%
male: 17%
female: 5%

Labor force: 2.5 million wage earners (1982)
by occupation: agriculture 90%, industry and commerce 6%, government 4%


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

Digraph: NG

Type: republic

Capital: Niamey

Administrative divisions: 7 departments (departements, singular - departement); Agadez, Diffa, Dosso, Maradi, Niamey, Tahoua, Zinder

Independence: 3 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: Republic Day, 18 December (1958)

Constitution: approved by national referendum 16 December 1992; promulgated January 1993

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 Mahamane OUSMANE (since 16 April 1993); election last held 17 March 1993 (next to be held NA February 1998)
head of government: Prime Minister Hama AMADOU (since 21 February 1995)
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president on recommendation of the prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly: elected by proportional representation for 5 year terms; elections last held 12 January 1995 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (83 total) MNSD-NASSARA 29, CDS 24, PNDS 12, ANDP-Z 9, UDFP 3, UDPS 2, PADN 2, PPN-RDA 1, UPDP 1

Judicial branch: State Court (Cour d'Etat), Court of Appeal (Cour d'Apel)

Political parties and leaders: National Movement of the Development Society (MNSD-NASSARA), Mamadou TANDJA, chairman; Democratic and Social Convention (CDS), Jacoub SANOUSSI; Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS), Mahamadou ISSOUFOU; Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Progress-Zamanlahia (ANDP-Z), Moumouni Adamou DJERMAKOYE; Union of Popular Forces for Democracy and Progress-Sawaba (UDFP), Djibo BAKARY, chairman; Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), Akoli DAOUEL; Niger Social Democrat Party (PADN), Malam Adji WAZIRI; Niger Progressive Party-African Democratic Rally (PPN-RDA), Dori ABDOULAI, chairman; Union of Patriots, Democrats, and Progressives (UPDP), Professor Andre SALIFOU, chairman


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

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador John S. 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

Flag: 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


Overview: Niger is one of the world's poorest countries, with GDP growth lagging behind the rapid growth of population. The economy is centered on subsistence agriculture, animal husbandry, and reexport trade, and increasingly less on uranium, its major export throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Uranium revenues dropped by almost 50% between 1983 and 1990 with the end of the uranium boom. Terms of trade with Nigeria, Niger's largest regional trade partner, have improved dramatically since the 50% devaluation of the African franc in January 1994; this devaluation boosted exports of livestock, peas, 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.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $4.6 billion (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: 1.4% (1993 est.)

National product per capita: $550 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $188 million
expenditures: $400 million, including capital expenditures of $125 million (1993 est.)

Exports: $246 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: uranium ore 67%, livestock products 20%, cowpeas, onions
partners: France 77%, Nigeria 8%, Cote d'Ivoire, Italy

Imports: $286 million (c.i.f., 1993 est.)
commodities: consumer goods, primary materials, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals
partners: France 23%, Cote d'Ivoire, Germany, Italy, Japan

External debt: $1.2 billion (December 1991 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate -2.7% (1992 est.); accounts for 15% of GDP

capacity: 60,000 kW
production: 200 million kWh
consumption per capita: 42 kWh (1992)

Industries: cement, brick, textiles, food processing, chemicals, slaughterhouses, and a few other small light industries; uranium mining began in 1971

Agriculture: accounts for roughly 40% of GDP and 90% of labor force; cash crops - cowpeas, cotton, peanuts; food crops - millet, sorghum, cassava, rice; livestock - cattle, sheep, goats; self-sufficient in food except in drought years

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $380 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $3.165 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $504 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $61 million

Currency: 1 CFA franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1 - 529.43 (January 1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993), 264.69 (1992), 282.11 (1991), 272.26 (1990)
note: the official rate is pegged to the French franc, and 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: 1 October - 30 September


Railroads: 0 km

total: 39,970 km
paved: bituminous 3,170 km
unpaved: gravel, laterite 10,330 km; earth 3,470 km; tracks 23,000 km

Inland waterways: Niger River is navigable 300 km from Niamey to Gaya on the Benin frontier from mid-December through March

Ports: none

total: 29
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 3
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 16


Telephone system: 14,260 telephones; small system of wire, radiocommunications, and radio relay links concentrated in southwestern area
local: NA
intercity: wire, radiocommunications, and radio relay; 3 domestic satellite links, with 1 planned
international: 2 INTELSAT (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) earth stations

broadcast stations: AM 15, FM 5, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 18
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Air Force, National Gendarmerie, Republican Guard, National Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,908,767; males fit for military service 1,029,384; males reach military age (18) annually 94,506 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $32 million, 1.3% of GDP (FY92/93)