Niger is located at the crossroads of North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest country in West Africa and the 6th largest country in Africa (after Sudan, Algeria, Congo, Libya and Chad). Neighbouring countries are Algeria and Libya in the North, Chad in the East, Nigeria and Benin in the South, Burkina Faso and Mali in the West.
Niger covers an area of 1.267.000 sq. km
Niger has a Sahelian Continental climate, with four well-defined seasons:
- From June to September: rainy season characterized by stormy rains and relatively high humidity, with an average temperature of 33 ° C;
- From October to mid-November: a hot season without rain but relatively humid, with a temperature of 35 ° C;
- From the end of November to the end of February: a relatively cold season, with very cool nights during which the temperature sometimes falls below 10 ° C;
- From March to the end of May: a very hot season characterized by hot winds, during which the thermometer can reach 45 ° C in the shade and does not go down below 25 ° C at night.
Based on the General Census of Population of 2012 the population of Niger is estimated to 20.000.000 inhabitants, with a population growth rate of 3.3%. The population density is about 16 inhabitants per square kilometre.
Niamey is the capital of Niger with a population of about 1.3 million inhabitants. Niamey is located in the western part of the country on the Niger River. It is the seat of the Government, the Parliament and the Central Administration of Niger. It is also an important economic centre at the crossroads of Burkina Faso, Benin and Nigeria.
Niger is divided into 8 regions: Agadez, Dosso, Maradi, Tahoua, Tillabery, Zinder, Diffa and Niamey (municipality with special status).
Niger is further divided into 63 departments and 266 municipalities.
The official language is French, and the main national languages are Arabic, Djerma-Sonhraï, Gourmantchéma, Hausa, Kanouri, Fulfuldé, Tamacheq and Toubou.
Niger is a secular Republic respecting and protecting all beliefs. Outside of Islam representing over 95% of the population, Christianity and Animism are represented.
1 Euro = 656 CFA Francs (fixed exchange rate)
Niger is an active member of the regional organisations, among others: the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Monetary and Economic Union (UEMOA), the Conseil de l’Entente. the Permanent Interstate Committee for drought control in the Sahel (CILSS), the G5-Sahel.
- January 1st: New Year’s Day
- Easter Monday
- April 24th: Concord Day
- May 1st: Labour Day
- August 3rd: Independence Day
- December 18th: Proclamation of the Republic / National Day
- December 25th: Christmas
- Mouloud Celebration of the Prophet’s Birthday
- Lailatoul-Qadr Celebration on the 27th day of fasting
- The Aid Al-Fitr Ramadan
- The Aid Al-Kabir Tabaski
- The Muslim New Year: (20 days after Tabaski)
Niger is a Constitutional Semi-Presidential Republic
(President and Parliament elected by universal suffrage, right to vote at 18)
The main institutions are:
- Presidency of the Republic of Niger (presidence.ne)
President of the Republic, Head of State.
- The National Assembly (assemblee.ne)
The National Assembly exercises legislative power.
- The Prime Minister’s Office (gouv.ne)
The Prime Minister is heading the Government and is in charge the coordination of the Government action to ensures the implementation of laws.
- The Constitutional Court (cour-constitutionnelle-niger.org)
The Constitutional Court is the competent court in constitutional and electoral matters.
- The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), in charge of conducting the elections. (ceniniger.org)
- The Court of Cassation
The Court of Cassation is the highest court in judicial matters.
- The State Council
The Council of State is the highest court in administrative matters.
- The Court of Auditors
The Court of Audit is the highest court of auditing public finances.
- The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (CESOC)
The CESOC mission is to assist the President of the Republic and the National Assembly in the economic, social and cultural fields.
- The High Council for Communication (CSC)
The CSC’s mission is to ensure and guarantee the freedom and the independence of the means of audio-visual communication, written and electronic press in the respect of the law.
- The National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH)
The CNDH is an Independent Administrative Authority responsible for ensuring the effectiveness and promotion of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
- The Ombudsman of the Republic (www.mediateurniger.ne)
The Ombudsman is an independent administrative authority responsible for the institutional mediation between government and citizens.