Niger

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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 allowing him to extend his term as president. In February 2010, military officers led a coup that deposed TANDJA and suspended the constitution. ISSOUFOU Mahamadou was elected in April 2011 following the coup and is seeking a second term in early 2016. 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 predominantly ethnic Tuareg rebel group, emerged in February 2007, and attacked several military targets in Niger's northern region throughout 2007 and 2008. Successful government offensives in 2009 ended the rebellion. Niger is facing increased security concerns on its borders from various external threats including insecurity in Libya, spillover from the conflict in Mali, and violent extremism in northeastern Nigeria.

Geography

Location

Western Africa, southeast of Algeria

Geographic coordinates

16.00° N, 8.00° E

Area 22/257

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: 5,834 km

border countries (7): Algeria 951 km, Benin 277 km, Burkina Faso 622 km, Chad 1,196 km, Libya 342 km, Mali 838 km, Nigeria 1,608 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

mean elevation:

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

agricultural land: 35.1%

arable land 12.3%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 22.7%

forest: 1%

other: 63.9% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

1,000 sq km (2012)

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

Hausa 53.1%, Zarma/Songhai 21.2%, Tuareg 11%, Fulani (Peul) 6.5%, Kanuri 5.9%, Gurma 0.8%, Arab 0.4%, Tubu 0.4%, other/unavailable 0.9% (2006 est.)

Languages

French (official), Hausa, Djerma

Religions

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

Population 62/238

18,045,729 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 49.57% (male 4,512,526/female 4,431,944)

15-24 years: 18.61% (male 1,658,537/female 1,699,924)

25-54 years: 25.92% (male 2,336,655/female 2,341,599)

55-64 years: 3.26% (male 305,363/female 283,647)

65 years and over: 2.64% (male 242,025/female 233,509) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 113%

youth dependency ratio: 107.5%

elderly dependency ratio: 5.5%

potential support ratio: 18.2% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 15.2 years

male: 15.1 years

female: 15.3 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 4/233

3.25% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 1/224

45.45 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 23/225

12.42 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 138/222

-0.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 18.7% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 5.14% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

NIAMEY (capital) 1.09 million (2015)

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: 1.08 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.04 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

18.1

note: median age at first birth among women 20-24 (2012 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 14/184

553 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 7/224

total: 84.59 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 89.12 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 79.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 209/224

total population: 55.13 years

male: 53.9 years

female: 56.39 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 1/224

6.76 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

13.9% (2012)

Health expenditures 74/191

6.5% of GDP (2013)

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: 48.6% of population

total: 58.2% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0% of population

rural: 51.4% of population

total: 41.8% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 37.9% of population

rural: 4.6% of population

total: 10.9% of population

unimproved:

urban: 62.1% of population

rural: 95.4% of population

total: 89.1% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.49% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

51,800 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

3,400 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 180/191

3.7% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 4/138

37.9% (2012)

Education expenditures 101/173

4.4% of GDP (2012)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 5 years

male: 6 years

female: 5 years (2012)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Niger

conventional short form: Niger

local long form: Republique du Niger

local short form: Niger

etymology: named after the Niger River that passes through the southwest of the country; from a native term "Ni Gir" meaning "River Gir"

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

7 regions (regions, singular - region) and 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

several previous; passed by referendum 31 October 2010, entered into force 25 November 2010 (2015)

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

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Niger

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: unknown

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)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); prime minister appointed by the president, authorized by the National Assembly

election results: ISSOUFOU Mahamadou elected president; percent of vote in second round - ISSOUFOU Mahamadou (PNDS-Tarrayya) 58%, Seini OUMAROU (MNSD-Nassara) 42%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (113 seats; 105 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 8 directly elected in special single-seat constituencies for minorities by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 31 January 2011 (next to be held on 21 February 2016)

election results: percent of vote by party - PNDS-Tarrayya 33.0%, MNSD-Nassara 20.6%, MODEN/FA-Lumana 19.7%, ANDP-Zaman Lahiya 7.5%, RDP-Jama'a 6.5%, UDR-Tabbat 5.4%, CDS-Rahama 3.3%, UNI 1.0%, other 3.0%; seats by party - PNDS-Tarrayya 39, MNSD-Nassara 23, MODEN/FA-Lumana 25, ANDP-Zaman Lahiya 8, RDP-Jama'a 7, UDR-Tabbat 6, CDS-Rahama 3, 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 nominated/elected - 1 by the president of the Republic, 1 by the president of the National Assembly, 2 by peer judges, 2 by peer lawyers, 1 law professor by peers, and 1 from within Nigerien society; all appointed by the president; judges serve 6-year nonrenewable terms with one-third of membership renewed every 2 years; 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 Society of Development-Nassara or MNSD-Nassara [Seini OUMAROU]

National Union of Independents or UNI [Amadou DJIBO ALI]

Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Progress-Zaman Lahiya or ANDP-Zaman Lahiya [Moussa Moumouni DJERMAKOYE]

Nigerien Democratic Movement for an African Federation or MODEN/FA Lumana [Hama AMADOU]

Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism or PNDS-Tarrayya [Mohamed BAZOUM]

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 [Amadou Boubacar CISSE]

note: the SPLM and SPLM-DC are banned political parties

International organization participation

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

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

National symbol(s)

zebu; national colors: orange, white, green

National anthem

name: "La Nigerienne" (The Nigerien)

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 nearly 40% of GDP and provides livelihood for most of the population. The UN ranked Niger as the least developed country in the world in 2014 due to multiple factors such as food insecurity, lack of industry, high population growth, a weak educational sector, and few prospects for work outside of subsistence farming and herding.

Since 2011 public debt has increased in part from a large loan financing a new uranium mine. The government relies on foreign donor resources for a large portion of its fiscal budget. The economy in recent years has been hurt by terrorist activity and kidnappings near its uranium mines and by instability in Mali; concerns about security have boosted fiscal spending on defense. Low uranium prices, demographics, and security expenditures may continue to put pressure on the government’s finances.

Future growth may be sustained by exploitation of oil, gold, coal, and other mineral resources. Niger has sizable reserves of oil and oil production. Food insecurity and drought remain perennial problems for Niger, and the government plans to invest more in the agriculture sector, most notably irrigation. Niger’s three-year $131 million IMF Extended Credit Facility agreement for years 2012-15 was extended until the end of 2016, although formal private sector investment needed for economic diversification and growth remains a challenge, given the country’s limited domestic markets, access to credit, and competitiveness.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 148/230

$18.96 billion (2015 est.)

$18.18 billion (2014 est.)

$17.01 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$7.119 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 55/225

4.3% (2015 est.)

6.9% (2014 est.)

4.6% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 222/230

$1,100 (2015 est.)

$1,100 (2014 est.)

$1,000 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 52/179

24.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

25.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

25.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 72.1%

government consumption: 7.7%

investment in fixed capital: 38.1%

investment in inventories: 2%

exports of goods and services: 24.2%

imports of goods and services: -44.1%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 37.3%

industry: 18.9%

services: 45.5% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

cowpeas, cotton, peanuts, millet, sorghum, cassava (manioc, tapioca), rice; cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, poultry

Industries

uranium mining, petroleum, cement, brick, soap, textiles, food processing, chemicals, slaughterhouses

Industrial production growth rate 18/202

6.8% (2015 est.)

Labor force 68/233

6.3 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 90%

industry: 6%

services: 4% (1995)

Unemployment rate 54/207

5.1% (2015 est.)

5.1% (2013 est.)

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 97/144

34 (2007)

50.5 (1995)

Budget

revenues: $1.975 billion

expenditures: $2.181 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 97/219

27.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 105/220

-2.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 59/226

0.7% (2015 est.)

-0.9% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 93/156

4.25% (31 December 2009)

4.75% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 164/184

3.5% (31 December 2015 est.)

3.5% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 140/192

$1.518 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.657 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 154/193

$2.027 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$2.047 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 161/191

$917.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$922.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$NA

Current account balance 130/197

-$1.358 billion (2015 est.)

-$1.221 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 152/224

$1.378 billion (2015 est.)

$1.469 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, onions

Exports - partners

Nigeria 41.4%, France 30.3%, China 15.7%, Ghana 5.6% (2014)

Imports 158/223

$2.168 billion (2015 est.)

$2.158 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

foodstuffs, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals

Imports - partners

China 13.5%, France 12.3%, Nigeria 8.3%, French Polynesia 8.1%, Togo 5.5%, Belgium 5.3%, India 4.7% (2014)

Debt - external 143/206

$2.983 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$2.656 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -

580.5 (2015 est.)

494.42 (2014 est.)

494.42 (2013 est.)

510.53 (2012 est.)

471.87 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 168/220

355 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 156/219

930.2 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 176/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 72/219

600 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 168/214

134,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 23/214

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 152/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 191/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 207/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 71/214

20,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 58/214

20,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 106/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 64/215

150 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 117/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 168/212

5,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 208/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 159/213

5,136 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 110/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 178/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 154/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 108/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 177/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 159/212

1.411 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 142/219

total subscriptions: 110,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 95/217

total: 8.2 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 47 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: inadequate; small system of wire, radio telephone communications, and microwave radio relay links concentrated in southwestern 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 national coverage; about 30 private radio stations operate locally; as many as 100 community radio stations broadcast; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 5, FM 6, shortwave 4 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

5 (2007)

Internet country code

.ne

Internet hosts 185/232

454 (2012)

Internet users 145/217

total: 281,200

percent of population: 1.6% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 115/236

30 (2013)

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 114/223

total: 18,949 km

paved: 3,912 km

unpaved: 15,037 km (2010)

Waterways 93/107

300 km (the Niger, the only major river, is navigable to Gaya between September and March) (2012)

Military and Security

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)

Military expenditures 95/132

1.06% of GDP (2012)

NA% (2011)

1.06% of GDP (2010)

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): 97,744 (Nigeria) (2015); 52,879 (Mali) (2016)

IDPs: 47,023 (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; Boko Haram attacks in southern Niger, 2015) (2015)