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Niger - a desert state on the Sahara

The landlocked state of Niger, located in the west of Central Africa, is more than twice the size of France, and the state is inhabited by around 23.3 million people. Since the birth rate is over 7, the population is growing rapidly.

Almost 90% of the national territory consists of desert.

The Niger extends far into the Sahara and includes large parts of the Sahel zone, a 200-300 km wide landscape belt south of the Sahara, which the Arabs have always called the Sahel (dt. Bank), because the caravans after the journey through the desert met there for the first time on pasture grounds and watering holes. Today's nomadic residents of the Sahel are dependent on annual rainfall, and droughts such as the early 1970s led to catastrophic droughts that deprived numerous people of livelihoods, causing famine and epidemics.


Many former nomads have now moved to the outskirts of the overpopulated cities, to the south or to neighboring countries.

Due to its location between the northern Sahara states on the one hand and West and Central African states on the other, Niger is home to various peoples, from the light-skinned Tuareg and Fulani to darker peoples like the Hausa.

The area of the Sahel also forms a culturally bridge between the Arab-Muslim sphere of influence and the black African cultures. For centuries there were important trading centers in this region (e.g. Agadès), where handicrafts, salt, gold, ivory and slaves were traded.

Industrialization is taking place slowly. Almost 90% of the workforce work in agriculture. In the 1970s there was a certain economic upswing in Niger due to uranium mining, until the world market price for uranium fell at the end of the 80s. However, uranium ore still accounts for 90% of total exports. The political situation has become more stable after the violence-related unrest of the Tuareg subsided in the 1990s, and a gradual process of democratization is taking place, which began in 1991 with the adoption of a constitution with a multi-party system.

Name of the country Republic of Niger
Form of government Presidential Republic
Geographical location in the west of central Africa
National anthem La Nigérienne
National holiday December 18
Population 23.3 million (Credit: Countryaah: Niger Population)
Name of the residents Nigerien
Ethnicities around 53% Haussa, 21% Djerma-Songhay, 10% Fulbe,

10% Tuareg, 4% Kanouri,

Toubu, Gourmantche

Europeans, Arabs, Buduma, Moors

Religions 80% Muslims

15% followers of natural religions

5% Christians

Languages French (official language)

Haussa, Djerma, Fulbe and Tamashek

Capital Niamey with 1.5 million residents
Surface 1,267,000 km2
Highest mountain Mount Bagzane with a height of 2,022 m
Longest river Niger with a length of 4,181 km
Largest lake Lake Chad with an area of approx. 20,700 km²
International license plate RN
National currency CFA franc
Time difference to CET CET applies.
International phone code 00227
Mains voltage, frequency 220/380 volts and 50 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .ne

Niger: history

Until around the year 1000

The oldest evidence of settlement in the region is around 8,000 years old. Other rock paintings from around 6000 BC BC come from an early cattle breeding culture. Between 1500 BC The south of today's Niger belonged to the Nok empire. The southwest was part of the Songhai Empire and the east of the Kanem Bornu Empire. In the 10th century the Haussa city-states in the south of the region became increasingly important.

From the year 1000 to the 19th century

According to Abbreviationfinder website, the Djerba began to immigrate to central Niger around 1600. The Europeans Heinrich Barth, E. Vogel and Gustav Nachtigal discovered the country in the second half of the 19th century.

Niger: history

In the 20th century

After the Second World War, the emancipation from the French colonial power began. On August 3, 1960, Niger gained independence; Hamani Diori became the first president. In 1967 uranium was discovered near Arlit. In 1969/70 a year-long drought began, which peaked in 1974. In 1970 Lieutenant Colonel Seyni Kountché came to power in a military coup, and the National Assembly and parties were dissolved.

Uranium prices continued to rise, with uranium mining in Niger reaching its peak in 1981, when the country provided 12% of world production.

A Tuareg uprising sparked a two-year guerrilla war. 1984 followed another drought. In 1985, twelve Tuareg were sentenced to death for an attack on a government building. In 1987 OTL Ali Seybou came to power. The demonstrations for democracy and a change of power from the beginning of 1990 were in some cases bloodily suppressed. Another Tuareg rebellion began in the north of the country. In 1991 a civil transitional government was formed under Prime Minister Cheiffou, with party pluralism and democratic structures. In 1993 Mahamane Ousmane was elected president. In 1995, thanks to international mediation, a peace treaty was signed between the government and the rebel Tuareg. In 1996, Colonel Baré seized power in a military coup.

Mamadou Tandja emerged victorious from the re-election in the same year and initiated a return to democracy in the country. In 2004 he was re-elected.

In 2005, around 3.5 million people in Niger were affected by famine, caused by persistent droughts and a plague of locusts in 2004.





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