Economy of Niger

The economy of Niger is based largely upon internal markets, subsistence agriculture, and the export of raw commodities: foodstuffs to neighbors and raw minerals to world markets. Niger, a landlocked West African nation that straddles the Sahel, has consistently been ranked on the bottom of the Human development index, with a relatively low GDP and per capital income. Economic activity centres on subsistence agriculture, animal husbandry, re-export trade, and export of uranium. The 50% devaluation of the West African CFA franc in January 1994 boosted exports of livestock, cowpeas, onions, and the products of Niger's small cotton industry. Exports of cattle to neighboring Nigeria, as well as Groundnuts and their oil remain the primary non-mineral exports. The government relies on bilateral and multilateral aid – which was suspended briefly following coups d'état in 1996 and 1999 – for operating expenses and public investment. Short-term prospects depend on continued World Bank and IMF debt relief and extended aid. The post 1999 government has broadly adhered to privatisation and market deregulation plans instituted by these funders.

Economy of Niger
"Petit Marché" at Niamey
Petit Marché in Niamey
CurrencyWest African CFA franc (XOF)
1 = 655.957 XOF
Statistics
GDP$7.892 billion (2017 est.) (Nominal), $21.655 billion (2017 est.) (PPP)
GDP growth
4.0% (2015), 5.0% (2016),
5.2% (2017e), 5.3% (2018f) [1]
GDP per capita
$440 (2017 est.) (Nominal), $1,153 (2017 est.) (PPP, 183th)
GDP by sector
agriculture: 44.3%; industry: 14.9%; services: 40.8% (2017)[2]
1% (2017)[2]
Population below poverty line
45.4% (2014)[2]
34 (2007)[2]
Labour force
6.5 million (2017)[2]
Labour force by occupation
agriculture: 87%; industry: 4%; services: 9% (2016)[2]
Unemployment2.6% (2016 est.)[2]
Main industries
uranium mining, petroleum, cement, brick, soap, textiles, food processing, chemicals, slaughterhouses[2]
150th (2017)[3]
External
Exports$1.177 billion (2017. est)[2]
Export goods
uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, onions[2]
Main export partners
 France 31.3%
 Thailand 11.6%
 Malaysia 10%
 Nigeria 9.5%
 Mali 5.6%
 China 5.3% (2016)[2]
Imports$2.194 billion (2017. est)
Import goods
Food, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals[2]
Main import partners
 France 28.3%
 China 16.1%
 US 7.8%
 Nigeria 5.8%
 Thailand 5.8% (2016 est.)[2]
$3.09 billion (31 December 2017 est)[2]
Public finances
Revenues$1.68 billion (2017. est)[2]
Expenses$2.235 billion (2017 est.)[2]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

Overall

Niger econ 1969
Economic map of Niger (1969). Peanut cultivation areas in purple, Rice in green, The remainder of agricultural land in orange. The northern limits of seasonal livestock forage is in brown.

Niger's economy is based largely on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Drought cycles, desertification, a 3.4% population growth rate and the drop in world demand for uranium have undercut an already marginal economy. Traditional subsistence farming, herding, small trading, and informal markets dominate an economy that generates few formal sector jobs. Between 1988 and 1995 28% to 30% of the total economy of Niger was in the unregulated Informal sector, including small and even large scale rural and urban production, transport and services.[4]

GDP per capita

Current GDP per capita[5] of Niger grew 10% in the 1960s. But this proved unsustainable and it consequently shrank by 27% in the 1980s and a further 48% in the 1990s. Much of this GDP is explained through the exploitation of uranium at Arlit in the far north of the country. Ore is partially processed on site by foreign mining corporations and transported by truck to Benin. Fluctuation of GDP can be mapped to changes in international uranium price, as well as price negations with the main mining company, France's Orano Cycle. Price rises in the mid-1970s were followed by a collapse in the market price through much of the 1980s and 1990s. Thus the GDP per capita has little direct impact on the average Nigerien, although uranium funds much government operation. The 2006 Human Development Index ranked Niger sixth from worst in the world, with a HDI of 0.370: 174 of 179 nations.[6]

Agriculture

Niger sorghum map and season
Map and growing season for the Nigerien Sorghum crop. Chart shows Normalized Difference Vegetation Index against Long Rains Dry Season (July – February), measuring normal years crop growth in the major Sorghum producing areas of Niger.[7]
Niger rice map and season
Map and growing season for the Nigerien Rice crop. Chart shows Normalized Difference Vegetation Index against Long Rains Dry Season (July – Feb), measuring normal years crop growth in the major Rice producing areas of Niger.[7]

Niger's agricultural and livestock sectors are the mainstay of all but 18% of the population. Fourteen percent of Niger's GDP is generated by livestock production (camels, goats, sheep and cattle), said to support 29% of the population. The 15% of Niger's land that is arable is found mainly along its southern border with Nigeria. Rainfall varies and when insufficient, Niger has difficulty feeding its population and must rely on grain purchases and food aid to meet food requirements. Although the rains in 2000 were not good, those in 2001 were plentiful and well distributed. Pearl millet, sorghum, and cassava are Niger's principal rain-fed subsistence crops. Irrigated rice for internal consumption, while expensive, has, since the devaluation of the CFA franc, sold for below the price of imported rice, encouraging additional production. Cowpeas and onions are grown for commercial export, as are small quantities of garlic, peppers, potatoes, and wheat. Groundnuts, and to a lesser degree Cotton, introduced by former colonial power France in the 1930s and 1950s respectively, account for most of the world market for Nigerien industrial agriculture. Prior to the mass exploitation of uranium in the early 1970s, groundnut oil was the largest Nigerien export by worth.[8]

The majority of Niger's population are rural residents engaged in agriculture, mostly in the south centre and south west of the nation. While these people are dependent on the agricultural market portions of their production and consumption, much of Nigerien farming is subsistence agriculture outside of the marketplace.[8]

External trade and investment

2006Niger exports
Niger's exports in 2006
Niger treemap
Graphical depiction of Niger's product exports in 28 color-coded categories.

Of Niger's exports, foreign exchange earnings from livestock, although impossible to quantify, are second only to those from uranium. Actual exports far exceed official statistics, which often fail to detect large herds of animals informally crossing into Nigeria. Some hides and skins are exported and some are transformed into handicrafts.

Mining

The persistent uranium price slump has brought lower revenues for Niger's uranium sector, although uranium still provides 72% of national export proceeds. The nation enjoyed substantial export earnings and rapid economic growth during the 1960s and 1970s after the opening of two large uranium mines near the northern town of Arlit. When the uranium-led boom ended in the early 1980s, however, the economy stagnated and new investment since then has been limited. Niger's two uranium mines (SOMAIR's open pit mine and COMINAK's underground mine) are owned by a French-led consortium and operated by French interests.

MineArlit1
The open pit COMINAK uranium mine at Arlit.

Exploitable deposits of gold are known to exist in Niger in the region between the Niger River and the border with Burkina Faso. Substantial deposits of phosphates, coal, iron, limestone, and gypsum also have been found. Numerous foreign companies, including American firms, have taken out exploration licenses for concessions in the gold seam in western Niger, which also contains deposits of other minerals.

Several oil companies explored for petroleum since 1992 in the Djado plateau in north-eastern Niger and the Agadem basin, north of Lake Chad but made no discoveries worth developing at the time. In June 2007, however, China National Petroleum Corporation (state-owned by the People's Republic of China) signed a US$5 billion agreement to extract oil in the Agadem block, as well as build a 20,000 barrels (3,200 m3) per day oil refinery and a 2,000 km oil pipeline in the country; production is expected to start in 2009.[9]

Niger's known coal reserves, with low energy and high ash content, cannot compete against higher quality coal on the world market. However, the parastatal SONICHAR (Société nigérienne de charbon) in Tchirozerine (north of Agadez) extracts coal from an open pit and fuels an electricity generating plant that supplies energy to the uranium mines.

Niger 2008 oilrig
A test Oil well in the Tenere Desert, January 2008.

Economic growth

After the economic competitiveness created by the January 1994 CFA franc devaluation contributed to an annual average economic growth of 3.5% throughout the mid-1990s, the economy stagnated due the sharp reduction in foreign aid in 1999, which gradually resumed in 2000, and poor rains in 2000. Reflecting the importance of the agricultural sector, the return of good rains was the primary factor underlying a projected growth of 4.5% for 2001.

Foreign investment

In recent years, the Government of Niger promulgated revisions to the investment code (1997 and 2000), petroleum code (1992), and mining code (1993), all with attractive terms for investors. The present government actively seeks foreign private investment and considers it key to restoring economic growth and development. With the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), it has undertaken a concerted effort to revitalize the sector.

Currency

Niger shares a common currency, the CFA franc, and a common central bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), with six other members of the West African Monetary Union. The Treasury of the Government of France supplements the BCEAO's international reserves in order to maintain a fixed rate of 100 CFA (Communauté Financière Africaine) to the French franc (to the euro as of January 1, 2002).

Government restructuring

In January 2000, Niger's newly elected government inherited serious financial and economic problems including a virtually empty treasury, past-due salaries (11 months of arrears) and scholarship payments, increased debt, reduced revenue performance, and lower public investment. In December 2000, Niger qualified for enhanced debt relief under the International Monetary Fund program for Highly Indebted Poor Countries and concluded an agreement with the Fund on a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF).

In addition to changes in the budgetary process and public finances, the new government has pursued economic restructuring towards the IMF promoted privatization model. This has included the privatization of water distribution and telecommunications and the removal of price protections for petroleum products, allowing prices to be set by world market prices. Further privatizations of public enterprises are in the works. In its effort comply with the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility plan, the government also is taking actions to reduce corruption and, as the result of a participatory process encompassing civil society, has devised a Poverty Reduction Strategy Plan that focuses on improving health, primary education, rural infrastructure, and judicial restructuring.

Foreign Aid

The most important donors in Niger are France, the European Union, the World Bank, the IMF and other United Nations agencies (UNDP, UNICEF, FAO, WFP, and UNFPA). Other principal donors include the United States, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. While USAID does not have an office in Niger, the United States is a major donor, contributing nearly $10 million each year to Niger's development. The U.S. also is a major partner in policy coordination in such areas as food security and HIV/AIDS. The importance of external support for Niger's development is demonstrated by the fact that about 45% of the government's FY 2002 budget, including 80% of its capital budget, derives from donor resources. In 2005 the UN drew attention to the increased need for foreign aid given severe problems with drought and locusts resulting in a famine endangering the lives around a million people.

Macro-economic trend

This is a chart of trend of gross domestic product of Niger at market prices estimated by the International Monetary Fund[10] with figures in millions of CFA Francs.

Year Gross Domestic Product US Dollar Exchange Inflation Index (2000=100)
1980 530,000 211.23 CFA Francs 46
1985 647,100 449.37 CFA Francs 69
1990 675,596 272.26 CFA Francs 61
1995 938,800 499.09 CFA Francs 87
2000 1,280,372 710.13 CFA Francs 100
2005 1,841,244 527.12 CFA Francs 113

Mean wages were $0.37 per man-hour in 2008.

The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017.[11]

Year 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
GDP in $
(PPP)
3.10 bil. 3.51 bil. 4.64 bil. 4.94 bil. 6.29 bil. 9.25 bil. 10.09 bil. 10.69 bil. 11.95 bil. 11.96 bil. 13.11 bil. 13.68 bil. 15.58 bil. 16.67 bil. 18.24 bil. 19.17 bil. 20.39 bil. 21.84 bil.
GDP per capita in $
(PPP)
569 545 616 555 599 723 762 779 842 814 866 876 968 1,003 1,066 1,086 1,120 1,164
GDP growth
(real)
4.9 % 7.7 % −1.3 % −6.6 % −2.6 % 8.4 % 5.8 % 3.2 % 9.7 % −0.7 % 8.4 % 2.2 % 11.9 % 2.3 % 7.5 % 4.0 % 5.0 % 5.2 %
Inflation
(in Percent)
7.3 % −1.0 % −2.0 % 10.9 % 2.9 % 7.8 % 0.1 % 0.1 % 11.3 % 4.3 % −2.8 % 2.9 % 0.5 % 2.3 % −0.9 % 1.5 % 0.2 % 2.4 %
Government debt
(Pct. of GDP)
... ... ... 91 % 89 % 66 % 27 % 25 % 21 % 28 % 24 % 28 % 27 % 26 % 32 % 41 % 45 % 47 %

Statistics

GDP: purchasing power parity – $21.86 billion (2017 est.)

GDP – real growth rate: 4.9% (2017 est.)

GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $1,200 (2017 est.)

GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 41.6%
industry: 19.5%
services: 38.7% (2017)

Population below poverty line: 45.4% (2014 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 29.3% (1992)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.4% (2017 est.)

Labour force: 6.5 million (2017 est.)

Labour force – by occupation: agriculture 79.2% , industry: 3.3%, services: 17.5% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate: 0.3% (2017 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1.757 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 2.171 billion (2017 est.)

Industries: uranium mining, cement, brick, textiles, food processing, chemicals, slaughterhouses

Industrial production growth rate: 6% (2017 est.)

electrification: total population: 15% (2013)

electrification: urban areas: 62% (2013)

electrification: rural areas: 4% (2013)

Electricity – production: 494.7 million kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – production by source:
fossil fuel: 95%
renewble: 5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2017)

Electricity – consumption: 1.065 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – imports: 779 million kWh (2016 est.)

Agriculture – products: cowpeas, cotton, peanuts, pearl millet, sorghum, cassava (tapioca), rice; cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, poultry

Exports: $4.143 billion (2017 est.)

Exports – commodities: uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, onions

Exports – partners: France 30.2%, Thailand 18.3%, Malaysia 9.9%, Nigeria 8.3%, Mali 5%, Switzerland 4.9% (2017)

Imports: $1.829 billion (2017 est.)

Imports – commodities: foodstuffs, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals

Imports – partners: France 28.8%, China 14.4%, Malaysia 5.7%, Nigeria 5.4%, Thailand 5.3%, US 5.1%, India 4.9% (2017)

Debt – external: $3.728 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

Economic aid – recipient: $222 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Communauté Financière Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Communauté Financière Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1 – 670 (January 2000), 560.01 (January 1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996), 499.15 (1995)
note: since 1 January 1999, the CFAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro

Fiscal year: calendar year

Economy

Niamey night
Niamey, Niger's capital and economic hub.

The economy of Niger centers on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Drought cycles, desertification, a 2.9% population growth rate, and the drop in world demand for uranium 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. Niger is also a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).[12]

In December 2000, Niger qualified for enhanced debt relief under the International Monetary Fund program for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and concluded an agreement with the Fund for 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, it was announced that Niger had 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 recovered somewhat in the last few years. A drought and locust infestation in 2005 led to food shortages for as many as 2.5 million Nigeriens.

Economic sectors

Agriculture

Niger Safari
The fertile south of Niger near the Niger River.

The agricultural economy is based largely upon internal markets, subsistence agriculture, and the export of raw commodities: foodstuffs and cattle to neighbors. Foreign exchange earnings from livestock, although difficult to quantify, are considered the second source of export revenue behind mining and oil exports. Actual exports far exceed official statistics, which often fail to detect large herds of animals informally crossing into Nigeria. Some hides and skins are exported, and some are transformed into handicrafts. [13]

Niger's agricultural and livestock sectors are the mainstay of all but 18% of the population.[13] 14% of Niger's GDP is generated by livestock production (camels, goats, sheep and cattle), said to support 29% of the population. Thus 53% of the population is actively involved in crop production.[13] The 15% of Niger's land that is arable is found mainly along its southern border with Nigeria.

Niger Farm sand tv 16aug05
Drought has turned farmland into useless soil. A farmer examines the soil in drought-stricken Niger during the 2005 famine.

In these areas, Pearl millet, sorghum, and cassava are the principal rain-fed subsistence crops. Irrigated rice for internal consumption is grown in parts of the Niger River valley in the west. While expensive, it has, since the devaluation of the CFA franc, sold for below the price of imported rice, encouraging additional production. Cowpeas and onions are grown for commercial export, as are small quantities of garlic, peppers, potatoes, and wheat. Oasis farming in small patches of the north of the country produces onions, dates, and some market vegetables for export.[13]

But for the most part, rural residents engaged in crop tending are clustered in the south centre and south west of the nation, in those areas (the Sahel) which can expect to receive between 300 to 600 mm (12 to 24 in) of rainfall annually. A small area in the southern tip of the nation, surrounding Gaya can expect to receive 700 to 900 mm (28 to 35 in) or rainfall. Northern areas which support crops, such as the southern portions of the Aïr Massif and the Kaouar oasis, rely upon oases and a slight increase in rainfall due to mountain effects. Large portions of the northwest and far east of the nation, while within the Sahara desert, see just enough seasonal rainfall to support semi-nomadic animal husbandry. The populations of these areas, mostly Tuareg, Wodaabe – Fula, and Toubou, travel south (a process called transhumance) to pasture and sell animals in the dry season, north into the Sahara in the brief rainy season.[8]

Rainfall varies and when it is insufficient, Niger has difficulty feeding its population and must rely on grain purchases and food aid to meet food requirements.[13] Rains, as in much of the Sahel, have been marked by annual variability. This has been especially true in the 20th century, with the most severe drought on record beginning in the late 1960s and lasting, with one break, well into the 1980s. The long-term effect of this, especially to pastoralist populations, remains in the 21st century, with those communities which rely upon cattle, sheep, and camels husbandry losing entire herds more than once during this period. Recent rains remain variable. For instance, the rains in 2000 were not good, while those in 2001 were plentiful and well distributed.

Soils that have become degraded, for example by intensive cereal production, cover 50 per cent of Niger's land. Laterite soils have a high clay content, which means they have higher Cation Exchange Capacity and water-holding capacity than sandy soils. If laterite soils become degraded, a hard crust can form on the surface, which hinders water infiltration and the emergence of seedlings. It is possible to rehabilitate such soils, using a system called the Bioreclamation of Degraded Lands.[14]

This involves using indigenous water-harvesting methods (such as planting pits and trenches), applying animal and plant residues, and planting high-value fruit trees and indigenous vegetable crops that are tolerant of drought conditions. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has employed this system to rehabilitate degraded laterite soils in Niger and increase smallholder farmers' incomes. Trials have demonstrated that a 200 m2 (2,153 sq ft) plot can yield an income of around US$100, which is what men traditionally earn from millet production per hectare (10000m²). As women are often given degraded soils, using this practice has helped to improve livelihoods for women in Niger.[14]

The Kandadji Dam on the Niger River, whose construction started in August 2008, is expected to improve agricultural production in the Tillaberi Department by providing water for the irrigation of 6,000 hectares initially and of 45,000 hectares by 2034.[15]

Drought and food crisis

As one of the Sahelian nations in West Africa, Niger has faced several droughts which led to food shortages and, in some cases, famines since its independence in 1963. This includes a series of droughts in the 1970s and 1980s and more recently in 2005–2006 and again in 2010. The existence of widespread famine in 2005–2006 was debated by the government of Niger as well some local NGOs.[16]

Mining

The Niger mining industry is the main source of national exports, of which uranium is the largest export. Niger has been a uranium exporter since the 1960s and has had substantial export earnings and rapid economic growth during the 1960s and 1970s. The persistent uranium price slump has brought lower revenues for Niger's uranium sector, although it still provides 72% of national export proceeds. When the uranium-led boom ended in the early 1980s the economy stagnated, and new investment since then has been limited. Niger's two uranium mines—SOMAIR's open pit mine and COMINAK's underground mine—are owned by a French-led consortium and operated by French company Orano.[17][18]

As of 2007, many licences have been sold to other companies from countries such as India, China, Canada and Australia in order to exploit new deposits. In 2013, the government of Niger sought to increase its uranium revenue by subjecting the two mining companies to a 2006 Mining Law. The government argued that the application of the new law will balance an otherwise unfavorable partnership between the government and Areva. The company resisted the application of the new law that it feared would jeopardize the financial health of the companies, citing declining market uranium prices and unfavorable market conditions. In 2014, following nearly a year long negotiation with the government of Niger, Areva agreed to the application of 2006 Mining Law of Niger, which would increase the government's uranium revenues from 5 to 12%.[17][18]

Niger millet Koremairwa 1214
A farmer collecting millet in Koremairwa village in the Dosso department.

In addition to uranium, exploitable deposits of gold are known to exist in Niger in the region between the Niger River and the border with Burkina Faso. In 2004, the first Nigerien gold ingot was produced from the Samira Hill Gold Mine, in Tera Department. The Samira Hill Gold Mine thus became the first commercial gold production in the country. The reserves at the location were estimated at 10,073,626 tons at an average grade of 2.21 grams (0.078 oz) per ton from which 19,200 kilograms (42,300 lb) will be recovered over a six-year mine life. Other gold deposits are believed to be in nearby areas known as the "Samira Horizon", which is located between Gotheye and Ouallam.[19]

SONICHAR (Société Nigerienne de Charbon) in Tchirozerine (north of Agadez) extracts coal from an open pit and fuels an electricity generating plant that supplies energy to the uranium mines. Based on 2012 reports by the government of Niger, 246016 tons of coal were extracted by SONICHAR in 2011.[20] There are additional coal deposits to the south and west that are of a higher quality and may be exploitable. Substantial deposits of phosphates, coal, iron, limestone, and gypsum have also been found in Niger.

Oil

Niger 2008 oilrig
A test oil well in the Tenere Desert, January 2008

The history of oil prospecting and discovery goes back to the independence era with the first discovery of Tintouma oil field in Madama in 1975.[21] It is the Agadem basin that has attracted much attention since 1970 with Texaco and then Esso prospecting in the basin until 1980. Exploration permits on the same basin were held successively by Elf Aquitaine (1980–1985), Esso-Elf (1985–1998), Esso (1998–2002) and Esso-Petronas (2002–2006). While the reserves were estimated at 324 millions barrels for oil and 10 billion m3 for gas, Esso-Petronas relinquished the permit because it deemed the quantities too small for production.[21]

With the sudden increase in oil price, this assessment was no longer true by 2008. the government transferred the Agadem block rights to CNPC. Niger announced that in exchange for the US$5 billion investment, the Chinese company would build wells, 11 of which would open by 2012, a 20,000-barrel-per-day (3,200 m3/d) refinery near Zinder and a pipeline out of the nation. The government estimates the area has reserves of 324 million barrels (51,500,000 m3), and is seeking further oil in the Tenere Desert and near Bilma. Niger began producing its first barrels of oil in 2011.[22]

Growth rates

The economic competitiveness created by the January 1994 devaluation of the Communauté Financière Africaine (CFA) franc contributed to an annual average economic growth of 3.5% throughout the mid-1990s. But the economy stagnated due to the sharp reduction in foreign aid in 1999 (which gradually resumed in 2000) and poor rains in 2000. Reflecting the importance of the agricultural sector, the return of good rains was the primary factor underlying economic growth of 5.1% in 2000, 3.1% in 2001, 6.0% in 2002, and 3.0% in 2003.

In recent years, the Government of Niger drafted revisions to the investment code (1997 and 2000), petroleum code (1992), and mining code (1993), all with attractive terms for investors. The present government actively seeks foreign private investment and considers it key to restoring economic growth and development. With the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), it has undertaken a concerted effort to revitalize the private sector.

To market
A market in Maradi.

Economic reforms

In January 2000, Niger's newly elected government inherited serious financial and economic problems including a virtually empty treasury, past-due salaries (11 months of unpaid salaries) and scholarship payments, increased debt, reduced revenue performance, and lower public investment. In December 2000, Niger qualified for enhanced debt relief under the International Monetary Fund program for Highly Indebted Poor Countries and concluded an agreement with the Fund on a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF).[13]

In addition to changes in the budgetary process and public finances, the new government has pursued economic restructuring towards the IMF promoted privatization model. This has included the privatization of water distribution and telecommunications and the removal of price protections for petroleum products, allowing prices to be set by world market prices. Further privatizations of public enterprises are in the works.

In its effort to comply with the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility plan, the government is also taking action to reduce corruption and, as the result of a participatory process encompassing civil society, has devised a Poverty Reduction Strategy Plan that focuses on improving health, primary education, rural infrastructure, and judicial restructuring.[13]

A long planned privatization of the Nigerien power company, NIGELEC, failed in 2001 and again in 2003 due to a lack of buyers. SONITEL, the nation's telephone operator which was separated from the post office and privatised in 2001, was renationalised in 2009. Critics have argued that the obligations to creditor institutions and governments have locked Niger into a process of trade liberalization that is harmful for small farmers and in particular, rural women.[23]

Infrastructure

Maradi aidecentre Niger9aug2005 3
A rural mother tends to her malnourished infant at the Maradi MSF aid centre, during the 2005–2006 Niger food crisis. While the Maradi Region is the breadbasket of Niger, the 20th century saw three severe Sahel droughts which brought dramatic food insecurity to even the most fertile regions of Niger.

Transportation infrastructure

Highway to tahoua 2007 002
One of the roads leading to Tahoua, central Niger
Niameyairport 2005 crop
View of Diori Hamani International Airport at Niamey

Transport is crucial to the economy and culture of this vast landlocked nation, with cities separated by huge uninhabited deserts, mountain ranges, and other natural features. Niger's transport system was little developed during the colonial period (1899–1960), relying upon animal transport, human transport, and limited river transport in the far south west and south east. No railways were constructed in the colonial period. Construction of a network of paved roads linking major cities began after the independence reaching its heights during the uranium boom in the 1970s and 1980s. Primary or paved road systems are limited to bigger cities or connection between major cities. Road connections or networks in rural areas are mostly unpaved, all-weather laterite surfaces to grated dirt or sand plowed roads with various degrees of maintenance. In 2012, there was 19,675 kilometres (12,225 mi) of road network throughout Niger, of which 4,225 kilometres (2,625 mi) were paved.[24]

The Niger River, which crosses the southwestern part of the country, is unsuitable for river transport of any large scale, as it lacks depth for most of the year, and is broken by rapids at many spots. Camel caravan transport was historically important in the Sahara desert and Sahel regions which cover most of the north.

Air transport is mainly concentrated in Niamey. Niger's only international airport is Diori Hamani International Airport, is located in the capital, Niamey. Other airports in Niger include the Mano Dayak International Airport in Agadez city and Zinder Airport in Zinder city but as of January 2015, they were not regularly serviced by any carriers.

In 2014, construction for the railway extension connecting Niamey (Niger) to Cotonou via Parakou (Benin) began and is expected to be completed by 2016. It includes the construction of 574 kilometres (357 mi) new railway from Niamey to connect to the existing line in Parakou (Benin). Besides Niamey, the railway line will go through Dosso city and Gaya.

Energy Infrastructure

Niger has insufficient access to the energy it needs. The country's energy consumption is considered one of the lowest in the world.[25] Niger's existing systems of energy consumption are also very underdeveloped to sustain energy efficiency within the state. Electricity access between urban areas such as Niamey enable 50 percent electricity service, and rural areas with 20 to 40 percent electricity service, with a region at its low of 10 percent electricity service.[26] Other demands for electricity are met by NIGELEC, providing Diesel generator and thermal coal plants to create fuel for rent.[27]

Niger has three major energy consumption outlets; oil products, biofuel and waste, and electricity. As of 2016, Niger's energy consumption includes 486 ktoe via oil products, 2,217 ktoe via biofuel and waste, and 84 ktoe via electricity.[28] Niger's dominate source of energy includes wood and charcoal, also known as biomass. Out of the 2,747 ktoe of energy supply in the country, 70% of it is from biomass. Households use up to 90% of biomass because of the lack of modern energy available, and the increased rates of imported energy that some cannot afford.[25] The oil products predominately used are liquiefied patroleum gas, motor gasoline, gas and diesel, other kerosene, and fuel oil.[28]

A chart representing the total final consumption of Niger's energy sources.

Niger also gets partial access from hydro electric power from dams created alongside the Niger River.[29] Hydro electric power contributes about 280 MW to Niger's energy collectively from several hydropower sources, this includes 130 MW from the Kandadji, 122.5 from River Niger in Gambou, and 26 MW from Dyondyonga in Mekrou.[27] Getting renewable energy via hydropower has had contriversial arguments due to the importance of rainfall in acquiring energy. Again, these hydro electric power dams are creating energy for Niger via Nigeria.[29]

Solar energy has also been used to provide energy access. From 2004 to 2010 solar power generation was implemented, but there was a significant drop from 2010 to 2012. However, since 2016 approximately 5 Gwh of solar power was used.[28]

Niger has potential to provide sustainable and renewable energy access within the country, which will help increase its energy intake and work with the growing demands of the population. Several projects have been discussed to bring solar power, hydropower, grid power, and wind power in works to create clean energy.

Many NGOs are working on funding projects to provide sustainable and renewable energy in parts of Africa. Affording the resources to create sustainable energy is one of the biggest barrier Niger faces, but agencies such as International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and AbuDhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) are funding low developing countries, including Niger, to help develop local renewable projects. Theses agencies will support projects including a hybrid micro-grid project emploting solar PV and advanced lithium-ion batteries, a hydropower project, integrated wind and solar, and a combination project consisting of micro-grid and solar home kits. In addition, Lighting Africa, an NGO primarily working in Niger, is assisting in sustainable energy development through two World Bank-sponsored Energy Access Projects: the Niger Solar Electricity Project (NESAP), and the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP). These projects will work with grid systems in two piloting countries, and this includes Niger. They will aim to increase electricity access in households, businesses, and communities through modern off-grid electrification.

See also

References

  1. ^ "World Bank forecasts for Niger, June 2018 (p. 153)" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Niger". The World Factbook. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  3. ^ "Ease of Doing Business in Niger". Doingbusiness.org. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  4. ^ C. Maldonado & J. Gasarian. SECTEUR INFORMEL: FONCTIONS MACRO-ECONOMIQUES ET POLITIQUES GOUVERNEMENTALES: LE CAS DU NIGER. Document de recherche S-INF-1-20. Département du développement des entreprises et des coopératives, Organisation internationale du Travail – OIT (1998).
  5. ^ earthtrends.wri.org Archived January 31, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Human Development Report 2007/2008. United Nations Development Program.
  7. ^ a b www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/cropexplorer/
  8. ^ a b c Decalo, Samuel (1997). Historical Dictionary of the Niger (3rd ed.). Boston & Folkestone: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3136-8.
  9. ^ "Niger set to become oil producer". BBC News. 2007-06-03. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  10. ^ IMF, 2006 estimates
  11. ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  12. ^ "OHADA.com: The business law portal in Africa". Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Background Notes for Niger: January 2009 Bureau of African Affairs, United States State Department. Retrieved 26 February 2009. Portions of the "Economy" section are here used verbatim, as this document is in the public domain.
  14. ^ a b Bio-reclamation – Converting degraded lateritic soils into productive land, Rural 21, March 2013.
  15. ^ "Kandadji" Ecosystems Regeneration and Niger Valley Development Programme (KERNVDP), Detailed Population Resettlement Plan, Executive Summary, Republic of Niger, Prime Minister's Office, High Commission for Niger Valley / African Development Bank, February 2008, p. 3-4.
  16. ^ When Endemic Malnutrition is Labeled as Famine. Eden Foundation (Sweden), May 2006.
  17. ^ a b "UPDATE 3-Areva signs uranium deal with Niger, delays new mine". Reuters. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Niger sets new terms in uranium ore deal with Areva". DW.DE. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  19. ^ Background Note:Niger, United States State Department, Bureau of Public Affairs: Electronic Information and Publications Office. Bureau of African Affairs. September 2008
  20. ^ "– Coal Production and Utilization 2007–2011 Report P218" (PDF).
  21. ^ a b "Le Petrole Nigerien: D'Agadem a la Soraz" (in French). Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  22. ^ As refinery opens, Niger joins club of oil producers, Agence France-Presse. 28 November 2011.
  23. ^ Niger: Agricultural trade liberalization and women’s rights. August 2006. Report by 3D – Trade – Human Rights – Equitable Economy.
  24. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) Annuaire statistique du Niger 2008– 2012 . Transport routier
  25. ^ a b "EZ Proxy | California State University, Long Beach". login.csulb.idm.oclc.org. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  26. ^ World Bank. 2015. Niger – Electricity Access Expansion Project (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/918311468179953735/Niger-Electricity-Access-Expansion-Project
  27. ^ a b Gado, Salifou (2015). "The Energy Sector of Niger: Perspectives and Opportunities" (PDF). energycharter.org.
  28. ^ a b c "Statistics". www.iea.org. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  29. ^ a b "EZ Proxy | California State University, Long Beach". csulb.idm.oclc.org. Retrieved 2018-11-03.

External links

2005–06 Niger food crisis

The 2005–06 Niger food crisis was a severe but localized food security crisis in the regions of northern Maradi, Tahoua, Tillabéri, and Zinder of Niger from 2005 to 2006. It was caused by an early end to the 2004 rains, desert locust damage to some pasture lands, high food prices, and chronic poverty. In the affected area, 2.4 million of 3.6 million people are considered highly vulnerable to food insecurity. An international assessment stated that, of these, over 800,000 face extreme food insecurity and another 800,000 in moderately insecure food situations are in need of aid.

2010 Sahel famine

A large-scale, drought-induced famine occurred in Africa's Sahel region and many parts of the neighboring Sénégal River Area from February to August 2010. It is one of many famines to have hit the region in recent times.The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition between the Sahara desert in the north of Africa and the Sudanian savannas in the south, covering an area of 3,053,200 square kilometers. It is a transitional ecoregion of semi-arid grasslands, savannas, steppes, and thorn shrublands.The neighboring Sénégal River Area contains various vegetation types and covers parts or all of Mauritania, Mali, Senegal and Guinea. It has also had very low rainfall over the last year according to the UN, NGOs and the Senegal River Basin Development Authority. Sudan set a new temperature record of 49.7 °C (121.3 °F) on 22 June, in the town of Dongola.

Agriculture in Niger

Agriculture is the primary economic activity of a majority of Niger's 17 million citizens.

The agricultural economy is based largely upon internal markets, subsistence agriculture, and the export of raw commodities: food stuffs and cattle to neighbors. Niger, a landlocked Sub-Sahara African nation, and over the past two decades has consistently been ranked near or at the bottom of worldwide indexes of the Human development index, GDP, and per capita income. Economic activity centres on subsistence agriculture, animal husbandry, re-export trade, and export of uranium. The 50% devaluation of the West African CFA franc in January, 1994 boosted exports of livestock, cowpeas, onions, and the products of Niger's small cotton industry. Exports of cattle to neighboring Nigeria, as well as Groundnuts and their oil remain the primary non-mineral exports.

Arlit

Arlit is an industrial town and capital of the Arlit Department of the Agadez Region of northern-central Niger, built between the Sahara Desert and the eastern edge of the Aïr Mountains. It is 200 km south by road from the border with Algeria. As of 2011, the commune had a total population of 112,432 people.

Azalai

The Azalai (Tamasheq, var. Azalay) is a semi-annual salt caravan route practiced by Tuareg traders in the Sahara desert between Timbuktu and the Taoudenni salt mine in Mali, or the act of traveling with a caravan along that route.

The other major West African salt caravan route, heading from around Agadez to Fachi and Bilma in Niger, is called Taghlamt (in Tamasheq, or Taglem or Tagalem in Hausa language).

The two are among the last caravan routes in the Sahara that are still in use. Both caravans have largely been replaced by unpaved truck routes.

BRVM

The Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières SA ("Regional Securities Exchange SA"), or BRVM, is a regional stock exchange serving the following west African countries:

Benin

Burkina Faso

Guinea Bissau

Côte d'Ivoire

Mali

Niger

Senegal

Togo.The exchange is located in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. Market offices are maintained in each country.

BRVM is a private corporation with 2,904,300,000 CFA francs in capital.

The BRVM Composite Index climbed 18 percent in 2015.

Bank of West Africa (BAO)

Banque d'Afrique Occidentale (also B.A.O. or BAO or Banque de l'AOF): (French for Bank of West Africa) was a bank French colonial authorities established in 1901 in Dakar, Sénégal, as the central bank of the colonies of French West Africa.

Central Bank of West African States

The Central Bank of West African States (French: Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest, BCEAO) is a central bank serving the eight west African countries which share the common West African CFA franc currency and comprise the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA):

Benin

Burkina Faso

Guinea-Bissau

Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire)

Mali

Niger

Senegal

TogoThe Bank is active in developing financial inclusion policy and is a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.

Liptako-Gourma Authority

The Liptako–Gourma Authority (LGA) is a regional organization seeking to develop the contiguous areas of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

Created in December 1970, the Authority has as its goal the promotion of the areas mineral, energy, hydraulic, and agricultural resources within a regional framework. The zone covered by the authority corresponds to the border regions of the three countries, and covers an area of 370,000 km², including 19 provinces of Burkina Faso, 4 administrative regions of Mali, and two departments and an urban community of Niger.

This zone is composed entirely of the semi-arid Sahel region. The dominant economic activity is agriculture and livestock herding, but the zone has considerable energy, hydraulic, and mining potential.

List of banks in Niger

This is a list of commercial banks in Niger

Bank of Africa Niger

Banque Atlantique Niger

Banque Régionale de Solidarité Niger

Banque Sahélo-Saharienne pour l'Investissement et le Commerce (BSSIC)

Ecobank Niger

Crédit du Niger

Banque Internationale pour l'Afrique au Niger

Banque Commerciale du Niger

Banque Islamique du Niger pour le Commerce et l'Investissement

Société Nigérienne de Banque

List of companies of Niger

Niger, officially the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east. The economy of Niger centers on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Drought cycles, desertification, a 2.9% population growth rate, and the drop in world demand for uranium have undercut the economy.

List of regions of Niger by Human Development Index

This is a list of Regions of Niger by Human Development Index as of 2017. An HDI value is calculated for the Tillabéri Region and the city of Niamey combined.

National Assembly (Niger)

The unicameral National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) is Niger's sole legislative body. The National Assembly may propose laws and is required to approve all legislation.

Oil and mining industry of Niger

The mineral mining industry is a crucial piece of the Economy of Niger. Exports of minerals consistently account for 40% of exports.

Mineral commodities produced in Niger included cement, coal, gold, gypsum, limestone, salt, silver, tin, and uranium. In 2006, Niger was the world’s fourth-ranked producer of uranium. A new mining code was adopted in August 2006 and the former National Mine research Office (ONAREM), whose responsibilities included organizing mining exploration programs, was replaced by two newly established entities: the geological and Mining Research Center and the Mining Company of Niger (SOPaMin). SOPaMin is to hold the state’s shares in the existing uranium companies and is in charge of engaging in commercial transactions, such as uranium sales. Since the adoption of the new Mining Code, the government has issued a significant number of new mineral exploration permits. Niger joined the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2005 and, as part of the EITI efforts, appointed in late 2006 a national consultative committee, which included representatives of the general public. A first audit report reconciling revenue paid by mining companies with government receipts was scheduled to be issued in late 2007.

Petroleum industry in Niger

Niger has a long history of petroleum exploration dating back to the 1970s. However, it is only recently in 2011 that the petroleum industry of Niger was born with the opening of the Agadem oilfield and the Soraz refinery near Zinder. The oil and gas extracted from the Agadem field are processed at the Soraz refinery and products (gasoline, diesel and liquified natural gas) are primarily for domestic consumption. Since the beginning of the oil extraction, it appears that the reserves have been underestimated: from an estimate of 324 million barrel reserves in 2008, it is believed that reserves are three times higher, near 1 billion barrels in 2013. With the increase in reserves, Niger anticipates an increase in its production from 20,000 to 80,000 barrels per day by 2016 with 60,000 barrels per day for exports via Chad and Cameroon.

Samira Hill Gold Mine

The Samira Hill Gold Mine (fr. Mine d'Or du Mont Samira) is a gold mine in Téra Department of the Tillabéri Region in Niger. Opened in late 2004, it is the first industrial scale gold mine in the nation, and while operated by a Canadian/Moroccan consortia, the government of Niger owns both a 20% stake in its operation, and functions under government concession. The mine, and the possibility that other gold concessions will follow, is projected to be an important component of future export revenue for the West African state.

Seasonal migration in Niger

Seasonal migration, locally called the Exode, plays an important part of the economic and cultural life of the West African nation of Niger. While it is a common practice in many nations, Niger sees as much as a third of its rural population travel for seasonal labour, during the Sahelian nation's long dry season. Common patterns of seasonal travel have been built up over hundreds of years, and destinations and work vary by community and ethnic group.

Telecommunications in Niger

Telecommunications in Niger include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

West African CFA franc

The West African CFA franc (French: franc CFA; Portuguese: franco CFA or simply franc, ISO 4217 code: XOF) is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. These eight countries had a combined population of 105.7 million people in 2014, and a combined GDP of US$128.6 billion (as of 2018).The acronym CFA stands for Communauté Financière d'Afrique ("Financial Community of Africa") or Communauté Financière Africaine ("African Financial Community"). The currency is issued by the BCEAO (Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest, "Central Bank of the West African States"), located in Dakar, Senegal, for the members of the UEMOA (Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine, "West African Economic and Monetary Union"). The franc is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes but no centime denominations have been issued.

The Central African CFA franc is of equal value to the West African CFA franc, and is in circulation in several central African states. They are both called the CFA franc.

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