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# Niger

Republic of Niger
République du Niger (in French)
Jamhuriyar Nijar (in Hausa)
Motto:
Anthem:
Location of  Niger  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union  (light blue)

Capital
and largest city
Niamey
13°32′N 2°5′E﻿ / ﻿13.533°N 2.083°E
Official languagesFrench
Hausa, Fulfulde, Gulmancema, Kanuri, Zarma, Tamasheq
Demonym(s)Nigerien ( or )[1][2]
GovernmentSemi-presidential republic
Brigi Rafini
Independence
from France
• Declared
3 August 1960
Area
• Total
1,267,000 km2 (489,000 sq mi) (22nd)
• Water (%)
0.02
Population
• July 2011 estimate
15,730,754[3] (63rd)
• 2001 census
10,790,352
• Density
12.1/km2 (31.3/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2011 estimate
• Total
$11.783 billion[4] (140th) • Per capita$781[4] (175th)
GDP (nominal)2011 estimate
• Total
$6.286 billion[4] (143rd) • Per capita$417[4] (177th)
Gini (1995)50.5
high
HDI (2011) 0.295
low · 186th
CurrencyWest African CFA franc (XOF)
Time zoneUTC+1 (WAT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (not observed)
Driving sideright[5]
Calling code227
ISO 3166 codeNE
Internet TLD.ne

Niger is a country in western Africa. The capital is Niamey, and the official language is French. It is surrounded by Algeria and Libya to the north, Chad to the east, Nigeria and Benin to the south, and Burkina Faso and Mali to the west. Niger is landlocked, meaning it has no coastline. Niger gets its name from the Niger River, whose name possibly comes from the Berber word "River of Rivers".[6]

The Mali Empire and the Songhai Empire both had land in what is now Niger. Later France controlled the land that is now Niger. Niger has a population, or the number of people living in an area, of 15,306,252 and an area of 1,267,000 square kilometres. Much of Niger is desert.

After a military coup in 2010, Niger is now a democratic, multi-party state. Most of the people live in rural areas, and have little access to advanced education.

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world with a lack of contraception. 41.4% live in poverty. Hunger plagues the country.

Niger’s main exports are uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas and onions. Millet and sorghum are grown in the south, as well as cassava and sugarcane. Rice is grown in the Niger River valley. Peanuts are the most important cash crop. Other important crops are cotton and pulses.

Niger is home to the critically endangered addax antelope. West African giraffes are the only giraffes in West Africa that exist in Niger.

## Geography

Niger is on the border between the Sahara and Sub-Saharan regions. Niger's area is 1,267,000 square kilometres (489,191 sq mi) of which 300 square kilometres (116 sq mi) is water. It is the world's twenty-second largest country. Niger borders seven countries. The longest border is with Nigeria to the south.

The lowest point is the Niger River, with an elevation of 200 metres (656 ft). The highest point is Mont Idoukal-n-Taghès in the Aïr Mountains at 2,022 m (6,634 ft).

### Cities

This table shows cities with a population over 10,000, according to 2001 census.

### Climate

Niger's subtropical climate is mainly very hot and dry. Much of it is covered by desert. In the extreme south there is a tropical climate on the edges of the Niger River basin. The land is mostly desert plains and sand dunes. There is flat to rolling savanna in the south and hills in the north.

## Demographics

There are several ethnic groups in Niger:

## Education

The literacy rate (the amount of the adult population who can read or write) of Niger is among the lowest in the world. In 2005 it was estimated to be only 28.7% (42.9% male and 15.1% female).[9] Primary education in Niger is required for six years.[10] The primary school enrollment and attendance rates are low, particularly for girls.[10] Children are often made to work rather than attend school. This is particularly true during planting or harvest periods.

## References

1. INS Niger (in French)
2. "Niger". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
3. Which side of the road do they drive on? Brian Lucas. August 2005. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
4. Hunwick, John O. (2003). Timbuktu and the Songhay Empire: Al-Sadi's Tarikh al-Sudan down to 1613 and other contemporary documents. Leiden: Brill. p. 275 Fn 22. .
5. "Niger". 2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor. Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor (2002). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.