Niger

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Niger
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Niger
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Map of Niger
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NO PHOTOS AVAILABLE OF NIGER
 

Introduction

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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 that would allow him to extend his term as president. In February 2010, a military coup deposed TANDJA, immediately suspended the constitution and dissolved the Cabinet, and promised that elections would be held following a transitional period of unspecified duration. 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, and attacked several military targets in Niger's northern region throughout 2007 and 2008. Successful government offensives in 2009 limited the rebels' operational capabilities.
 
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Geography

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Western Africa, southeast of Algeria
 
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16 00 N, 8 00 E
 
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total: 1.267 million sq km
country comparison to the world: 22
land: 1,266,700 sq km
water: 300 sq km
 
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slightly less than twice the size of Texas
 
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total: 5,697 km
border countries: Algeria 956 km, Benin 266 km, Burkina Faso 628 km, Chad 1,175 km, Libya 354 km, Mali 821 km, Nigeria 1,497 km
 
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0 km (landlocked)
 
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none (landlocked)
 
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desert; mostly hot, dry, dusty; tropical in extreme south
 
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predominately desert plains and sand dunes; flat to rolling plains in south; hills in north
 
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lowest point: Niger River 200 m
highest point: Idoukal-n-Taghes 2,022 m
 
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uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, molybdenum, gypsum, salt, petroleum
 
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arable land: 11.43%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 88.56% (2005)
 
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740 sq km (2008)
 
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33.7 cu km (2003)
 
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total: 2.18 cu km/yr (4%/0%/95%)
per capita: 156 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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recurring droughts
 
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overgrazing; soil erosion; deforestation; desertification; wildlife populations (such as elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, and lion) threatened because of poaching and habitat destruction
 
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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
 
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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
 
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People and Society

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noun: Nigerien(s)
adjective: Nigerien
 
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Haoussa 55.4%, Djerma Sonrai 21%, Tuareg 9.3%, Peuhl 8.5%, Kanouri Manga 4.7%, other 1.2% (2001 census)
 
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French (official), Hausa, Djerma
 
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Muslim 80%, other (includes indigenous beliefs and Christian) 20%
 
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16,468,886 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
 
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0-14 years: 49.6% (male 4,129,164/female 4,045,412)
15-64 years: 48% (male 3,944,586/female 3,964,249)
65 years and over: 2.3% (male 170,741/female 214,734) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 15.2 years
male: 15 years
female: 15.4 years (2011 est.)
 
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3.643% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
 
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50.54 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
 
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14.11 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
 
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0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
 
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urban population: 17% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 4.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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NIAMEY (capital) 1.004 million (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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820 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 11
 
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total: 112.22 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 3
male: 117.19 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 107.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 53.4 years
country comparison to the world: 203
male: 52.13 years
female: 54.7 years (2011 est.)
 
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7.6 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
 
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6.1% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 101
 
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0.019 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 188
 
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0.31 beds/1,000 population (2005)
country comparison to the world: 179
 
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improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 39% of population
total: 48% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 61% of population
total: 52% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 34% of population
rural: 4% of population
total: 9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 66% of population
rural: 96% of population
total: 91% of population (2008)
 
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0.8% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
 
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61,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
 
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4,300 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
 
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degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
 
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39.9% (2006)
country comparison to the world: 5
 
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4.5% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 84
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 28.7%
male: 42.9%
female: 15.1% (2005 est.)
 
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total: 5 years
male: 6 years
female: 5 years (2010)
 
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total: 3.2%
country comparison to the world: 126
male: 4%
female: 1.7% (2001)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Niger
conventional short form: Niger
local long form: Republique du Niger
local short form: Niger
 
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republic
 
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name: Niamey
geographic coordinates: 13 31 N, 2 07 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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8 regions (regions, singular - region) includes 1 capital district* (communite urbaine); Agadez, Diffa, Dosso, Maradi, Niamey*, Tahoua, Tillaberi, Zinder
 
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3 August 1960 (from France)
 
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Republic Day, 18 December (1958); note - commemorates the founding of the Republic of Niger which predated independence from France in 1960
 
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adopted 31 October 2010
 
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mixed legal system of civil law (based on French civil law), Islamic law, and customary law
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President ISSOUFOU Mahamadou (since 7 April 2011)
head of government: Prime Minister Brigi RAFINI (since 7 April 2011); appointed by the president and shares some executive responsibilities with the president
cabinet: 26-member Cabinet appointed by the president
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); candidate must receive a majority of the votes to be elected president; a presidential election to restore civilian rule was held 31 January 2011 with a runoff election between Issoufou MAHAMADOU and Seini OUMAROU held on 12 March 2011
election results: Issoufou MAHAMADOU elected president in a runoff election; percent of vote - Issoufou MAHAMADOU 58%, Seini OUMAROU 42%
 
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unicameral National Assembly (113 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 31 January 2011
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PNDS-Tarrayya 39, MNSD-Nassara 26, MODEN/FA-Lumana 24, ANDP-Zaman Lahiya 8, RDP-Jama'a 7, UDR-Tabbat 6, CDS-Rahama 2, UNI 1
 
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State Court or Cour d'Etat; Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel
 
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Democratic and Social Convention-Rahama or CDS-Rahama [Mahamane OUSMANE]; National Movement for a Developing Society-Nassara or MNSD-Nassara; Niger Social Democratic Party or PSDN; Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Social Progress-Zaman Lahiya or ANDP-Zaman Lahiya [Moumouni DJERMAKOYE]; Nigerien Democratic Movement for an African Federation or MODEN/FA Lumana; Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism or PNDS-Tarrayya [Mahamadou ISSOUFOU]; 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; Union of Independent Nigeriens or UNI
 
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The Nigerien Movement for Justice or MNJ, a predominantly Tuareg rebel group
 
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ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Aminata Djibrilla Maiga TOURE
chancery: 2204 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-4224 through 4227
FAX: [1] (202)483-3169
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Bisa WILLIAMS
embassy: Rue Des Ambassades, Niamey
mailing address: B. P. 11201, Niamey
telephone: [227] 20-72-26-61 thru 64
FAX: [227] 20-73-31-67
 
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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
 
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name: "La Nigerienne" (The Nigerian)
lyrics/music: Maurice Albert THIRIET/Robert JACQUET and Nicolas Abel Francois FRIONNET
note: adopted 1961
 
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Economy

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Niger is a landlocked, Sub-Saharan nation, whose economy centers on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Niger also has sizable reserves of oil, and oil production, refining, and exports are expected to grow significantly between 2011 and 2016. Drought, desertification, and strong population growth 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. In 2010, the Niger economy was recovering from the effects of a 2009 drought that reduced grain and cowpea production and decimated livestock herds. The economy was also hurt when the international community cut off non-humanitarian aid in response to TANDJA's moves to extend his term as president. 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.
 
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$11.05 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
$10.28 billion (2009 est.)
$10.37 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$5.577 billion (2010 est.)
 
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7.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
-0.9% (2009 est.)
9.3% (2008 est.)
 
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$700 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 221
$700 (2009 est.)
$700 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 37%
industry: 15.5%
services: 47.4% (2010 est.)
 
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4.688 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 77
 
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agriculture: 90%
industry: 6%
services: 4% (1995)
 
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NA%
 
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63% (1993 est.)
 
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lowest 10%: 3.7%
highest 10%: 28.5% (2007)
 
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34 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 94
50.5 (1995)
 
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34% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
 
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revenues: $800.4 million (includes $134 million from foreign sources)
expenditures: $1.297 billion (2010 est.)
 
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14.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
 
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-8.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
 
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0.8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
4.3% (2009 est.)
 
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4.25% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 79
4.75% (31 December 2008)
 
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4.3% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
4.3% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$917.7 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
$782.7 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.171 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
$1.038 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$715.4 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
$683.7 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$NA
 
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cowpeas, cotton, peanuts, millet, sorghum, cassava (tapioca), rice; cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, poultry
 
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uranium mining, cement, brick, soap, textiles, food processing, chemicals, slaughterhouses
 
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5.1% (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
 
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200 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
 
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626 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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440 million kWh (2008 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
 
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6,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
 
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5,443 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
 
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-$1.388 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
-$1.402 billion (2009 est.)
 
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$1.04 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
 
 
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uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, onions
 
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Nigeria 68.3%, US 12.2%, Ghana 9.8% (2010)
 
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$1.821 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
$1.794 billion (2009 est.)
 
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foodstuffs, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals
 
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China 17.8%, France 16.5%, French Polynesia 7.2%, Nigeria 6.7%, Algeria 5.3%, Cote dIvoire 4.9% (2010)
 
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$760.3 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
$655.5 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$990.9 million (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
$2.1 billion (2003 est.)
 
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Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
495.28 (2010)
472.19 (2009)
493.51 (2007)
522.59 (2006)
 
 
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Communications

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83,600 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 151
 
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3.806 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 113
 
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general assessment: inadequate; small system of wire, radio telephone communications, and microwave radio relay links concentrated in the southwestern area of Niger
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity remains less than 20 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) (2009)
 
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state-run TV station; 3 private TV stations provide a mix of local and foreign programming; only national radio station with national reach is state-run; about 30 private radio stations operate locally; as many as 100 community radio stations broadcast; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)
 
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.ne
 
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172 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 197
 
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115,900 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 155
 
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Transportation

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27 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 124
 
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total: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 17
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 18,949 km
country comparison to the world: 113
paved: 3,912 km
unpaved: 15,037 km (2008)
 
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300 km (the Niger, the only major river, is navigable to Gaya between September and March) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 94
 
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Military

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Nigerien Armed Forces (Forces Armees Nigeriennes, FAN): Army, Nigerien Air Force (Force Aerienne du Niger) (2010)
 
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17-21 years of age for selective compulsory or voluntary military service; enlistees must be Nigerien citizens and unmarried; 2-year service term; women may serve in health care (2009)
 
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males age 16-49: 3,329,184
females age 16-49: 3,267,669 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 2,194,570
females age 16-49: 2,219,416 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 186,348
female: 180,779 (2010 est.)
 
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1.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 113
 
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Transnational Issues

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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
 
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current situation: Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation; caste-based slavery practices, rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships, continue in isolated areas of the country - an estimated 8,800 to 43,000 Nigeriens live under conditions of traditional slavery; children are trafficked within Niger for forced begging, forced labor in gold mines, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, and possibly for forced labor in agriculture and stone quarries; women and children from neighboring states are trafficked to and through Niger for domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, forced labor in mines and on farms, and as mechanics and welders; to a lesser extent, Nigerien women and children are recruited from Niger and transported to Nigeria, North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe for domestic servitude and sex trafficking
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the Government of Niger does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government demonstrated marginal efforts to combat human trafficking, including traditional slavery; the transitional government enacted the country's first specific law to address trafficking; however, the government's few efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses during the year came only after receiving complaints from NGOs, and efforts to prosecute cases of traditional slavery and to provide assistance to victims remained weak (2011)
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