The World Factbook (1990)/Niger

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World Factbook (1990) Niger.jpg

See regional map VII


Total area: 1,267,000 km²; land area: 1,266,700 km²

Comparative area: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

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

Coastline: none—landlocked

Maritime claims: none—landlocked

Disputes: Libya claims about 19,400 km² in northern Niger; exact locations of the Chad-Niger-Nigeria and Cameroon-Chad-Nigeria tripoints in Lake Chad have not been determined, so the boundary has not been demarcated and border incidents have resulted; 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: 3% arable land; 0% permanent crops; 7% meadows and pastures; 2% forest and woodland; 88% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: recurrent drought and desertification severely affecting marginal agricultural activities; overgrazing; soil erosion

Note: landlocked


Population: 7,969,309 (July 1990), growth rate 3.6% (1990)

Birth rate: 52 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 17 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 131 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 48 years male, 53 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 7.4 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Nigerien(s); adjective—Nigerien

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

Religion: 80% Muslim, remainder indigenous beliefs and Christians

Language: French (official); Hausa, Djerma

Literacy: 13.9%

Labor force: 2,500,000 wage earners (1982); 90% agriculture, 6% industry and commerce, 4% government; 51% of population of working age (1985)

Organized labor: negligible


Long-form name: Republic of Niger

Type: republic; presidential system in which military officers hold key offices

Capital: Niamey

Administrative divisions: 7 departments (départements, singular—département); Agadez, Diffa, Dosso, Maradi, Niamey, Tahoua, Zinder

Independence: 3 August 1960 (from France)

Constitution: adopted NA December 1989 after 15 years of military rule

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

National holidays: Republic Day, 18 December (1958)

Executive branch: president, prime minister, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: National Development Council

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

Leaders: Chief of State—President Brig. Gen. Ali SAIBOU (since 14 November 1987);

Head of Government—Prime Minister ALIOU MAHAMIDA (since 2 March 1990)

Political parties and leaders: only party National Movement for the Development Society (MNSD), leader NA

Suffrage: universal adult at age 18

Elections: President—last held December 1989 (next to be held NA 1996); results—President Ali Saibou was reelected without opposition;

National Development Council—last held December 1989 (next to be held NA 1994); results—MNSD is the only party; seats—(150 total) MNSD 150 (indirectly elected)

Communists: no Communist party; some sympathizers in outlawed Sawaba party

Member of: ACP, AfDB, APC, CCC, CEAO, EAMA, ECA, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB—Islamic Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IPU, ITU, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Niger River Commission, NAM, OAU, OCAM, OIC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Moumouni Adamou DJERMAKOYE; Chancery at 2204 R Street NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 483-4224 through 4227; US—Ambassador Carl C. CUNDIFF; Embassy at Avenue des Ambassadeurs, Niamey (mailing address is B. P. 11201, Niamey); telephone [227] 72-26-61 through 64 and 72-26-70

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: About 90% of the population is engaged in farming and stock rearing, activities which generate almost half of the national income. The economy also depends heavily on exploitation of large uranium deposits. Uranium production grew rapidly in the mid-1970s, but tapered off in the early 1980s, when world prices declined. France is a major customer, while FRG, Japan, and Spain also make regular purchases. The depressed demand for uranium has contributed to an overall sluggishness in the economy, a severe trade imbalance, and a mounting external debt.

GDP: $2.4 billion, per capita $330; real growth rate 7.1% (1988 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): -1.4% (1988)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $254 million; expenditures $510 million, including capital expenditures of $239 million (1988 est.)

Exports: $371 million (f.o.b., 1988 est.); commodities—uranium 76%, livestock, cowpeas, onions, hides, skins; partners—NA

Imports: $441 million (e.i.f., 1988 est.); commodities—petroleum products, primary materials, machinery, vehicles and parts, electronic equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemical products, cereals, foodstuffs

External debt: $1.8 billion (December 1989 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 4.7% (1989 est.)

Electricity: 102,000 kW capacity; 225 million kWh produced, 30 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: cement, brick, rice mills, small cotton gins, oilseed presses, slaughterhouses, and a few other small light industries; uranium production 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

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $349 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $2.8 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $504 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $61 million

Currency: Communauté Financière Africaine franc (plural—francs); 1 CFA franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Communauté Financière Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1—287.99 (January 1990), 319.01 (1989), 297.85 (1988), 300.54 (1987), 346.30 (1986), 449.26 (1985)

Fiscal year: 1 October-30 September


Highways: 39,970 km total; 3,170 km bituminous, 10,330 km gravel and laterite, 3,470 km earthen, 23,000 km tracks

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

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airports: 31 total, 29 usable; 7 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways over 3,659 m; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 11 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: small system of wire, radiocommunications, and radio relay links concentrated in southwestern area; 11,900 telephones; stations—15 AM, 5 FM, 16 TV; satellite earth stations 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT, 1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT, and 4 domestic

Defense Forces

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

Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,656,466; 894,095 fit for military service; 87,478 reach military age (18) annually

Defense expenditures: $20.6 million (1988)