Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: 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 coup by military officers who promptly restored democratic rule and held elections that brought Mamadou TANDJA to power in December of that year. TANDJA was reelected in 2004. 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. A predominately Tuareg ethnic group emerged in February 2007, the Nigerien Movement for Justice (MNJ), and attacked several military targets in Niger's northern region throughout 2007. Events have since evolved into a budding insurrection. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking near last on the united nations development fund index of human development. it is a landlocked, sub-saharan nation, whose economy centers on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. drought cycles, desertification, and a 2.9% population growth rate, have undercut the economy. niger shares a common currency, the cfa franc, and a common central bank, the central bank of west african states (bceao), with seven other members of the west african monetary union. in december 2000, niger qualified for enhanced debt relief under the international monetary fund program for highly indebted poor countries (hipc) and concluded an agreement with the fund on a poverty reduction and growth facility (prgf). debt relief provided under the enhanced hipc initiative significantly reduces niger's annual debt service obligations, freeing funds for expenditures on basic health care, primary education, hiv/aids prevention, rural infrastructure, and other programs geared at poverty reduction. in december 2005, niger received 100% multilateral debt relief from the imf, which translates into the forgiveness of approximately us $86 million in debts to the imf, excluding the remaining assistance under hipc. nearly half of the government's budget is derived from foreign donor resources. future growth may be sustained by exploitation of oil, gold, coal, and other mineral resources. uranium prices have increased sharply in the last few years. a drought and locust infestation in 2005 led to food shortages for as many as 2.5 million nigeriens.

Environmental Issues

Overgrazing; soil erosion; deforestation; desertification; wildlife populations (such as elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, and lion) threatened because of poaching and habitat destruction

Government Type



13,272,679 (july 2008 est.)


Western africa, southeast of algeria


Total: 1.267 million sq km land: 1,266,700 sq km water: 300 sq km

Slightly less than twice the size of texas

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: republic of niger conventional short form: niger local long form: republique du niger local short form: niger


Name: niamey geographic coordinates: 13 31 n, 2 07 e time difference: utc+1 (6 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

18 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2006)

International Disputes

Libya claims about 25,000 sq km in a currently dormant dispute in the tommo region; much of benin-niger boundary, including tripoint with nigeria, remains undemarcated; only nigeria and cameroon have heeded the lake chad commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty which also includes the chad-niger and niger-nigeria boundaries

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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