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Niger - Country facts

Map

Small map of Niger
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Flag

Country flag: Niger

Capital

Niamey

Currency

Communaute Financiere Africaine

Internet Code

.ne

Location

Western Africa, southeast of Algeria

Background

Not until 1993, 33 years after independence from France, did Niger hold its first free and open elections. A 1995 peace accord ended a five-year Tuareg insurgency in the north. Coups in 1996 and 1999 were followed by the creation of a National Reconciliation Council that effected a transition to civilian rule by December 1999. 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.

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

Population

11,665,937 (July 2005 est.)

Ethnic Groups

Hausa 56%, Djerma 22%, Fula 8.5%, Tuareg 8%, Beri Beri (Kanouri) 4.3%, Arab, Toubou, and Gourmantche 1.2%, about 1,200 French expatriates

Religions

Muslim 80%, remainder indigenous beliefs and Christian

Languages

French (official), Hausa, Djerma

Map of Niger

Large map of Niger
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