Geographic and Governmental Profile of Niger

Background
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. ISSOUFOU Mahamadou emerged victorious from a crowded field in the election following the coup and was inaugurated in April 2011. 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. The Nigerien Movement for Justice, a predominately Tuareg ethnic group, emerged in February 2007, and attacked several military targets in Niger's northern region throughout 2007 and 2008. Successful government offensives in 2009 limited the rebels' operational capabilities.
Location
Western Africa, southeast of Algeria
Geographic coordinates
16 00 N, 8 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
1.267 million sq km
rank:
22
land:
1,266,700 sq km
water:
300 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundaries
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
Coastline
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
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
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Niger River 200 m
highest point:
Idoukal-n-Taghes 2,022 m
Natural resources
uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, molybdenum, gypsum, salt, petroleum
Land use
arable land:
11.43%
permanent crops:
0.01%
other:
88.56% (2005)
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Irrigated land
740 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
33.7 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
2.18 cu km/yr (4%/0%/95%)
per capita:
156 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
recurring droughts
Environment - current issues
overgrazing; soil erosion; deforestation; desertification; wildlife populations (such as elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, and lion) threatened because of poaching and habitat destruction
Environment - international agreements
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
Geography - note
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
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Niger
conventional short form:
Niger
local long form:
Republique du Niger
local short form:
Niger
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Niamey
geographic coordinates:
13 31 N, 2 07 E
time difference:
UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
8 regions (regions, singular - region) includes 1 capital district* (communite urbaine); Agadez, Diffa, Dosso, Maradi, Niamey*, Tahoua, Tillaberi, Zinder
Independence
3 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday
Republic Day, 18 December (1958); note - commemorates the founding of the Republic of Niger which predated independence from France in 1960
Constitution
adopted 31 October 2010
Legal system
mixed legal system of civil law (based on French civil law), Islamic law, and customary law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
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
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%
Legislative branch
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
Judicial branch
Constitutional Court (7 judges with 6-year terms, nominated by the President); Court of Cassation (highest court dealing with judicial matters); Council of State (highest court dealing with administrative matters); Court of Finances (highest court dealing with public finances)
Political parties and leaders
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; note: the SPLM and SPLM-DC are banned political parties
Political pressure groups and leaders
The Nigerien Movement for Justice or MNJ, a predominantly Tuareg rebel group
International organization participation
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
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Mamon Sambo SIDIKOU
chancery:
2204 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 483-4224 through 4227
FAX:
[1] (202)483-3169
Diplomatic representation from the US
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
Flag description
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
similar to the flag of India, which has a blue spoked wheel centered in the white band
National anthem
name:
"La Nigerienne" (The Nigerian)
lyrics/music:
Maurice Albert THIRIET/Robert JACQUET and Nicolas Abel Francois FRIONNET
adopted 1961
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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