Niger, officially the Republic of Niger, is a West African landlocked country named after the Niger River. Niger is a unitary state bordered on the northeast by Libya, on the east by Chad, on the south by Nigeria, on the southwest by Benin and Burkina Faso, on the west by Mali, and on the northwest by Algeria. Niger is the second-largest landlocked country in West Africa, behind Chad, with a land area of almost 1,270,000 km2. The Sahara Desert covers almost 80% of the country’s land area. The country’s largely Muslim population of 22 million people lives primarily in clusters in the country’s extreme south and west. Niamey, the capital and largest city of Niger, is located in the southwest part of the country. Due to its landlocked location, dry environment, ineffective agriculture, high fertility rates without birth control, and accompanying overpopulation, Niger confronts major development issues. Nigerien society displays a diversity derived from the long autonomous histories of the country’s various ethnic groups and regions, as well as the country’s relatively brief period of unification. What is now Niger has historically been on the periphery of several great states. Nigeriens have lived under five constitutions and three periods of military government since independence. Niger became a democratic, multi-party state after a military coup in 2010. The vast bulk of the population lives in rural areas with limited access to higher education.
TRENDING FASHION IN NIGER
ACCESSORIES IN NIGERIA
TRIBES IN NIGER AND THEIR FASHION
The Hausa ethnic group is Niger’s most populous, accounting for 54.1 percent of the country’s population. The Hausa are one of Africa’s largest ethnic groupings, with most constituting the bulk of the population in Nigeria and Niger. The Hausa people of Niger speak Hausa, a member of the Afro-Asian language family, as well as French, English, and Arabic. The majority of Hausa people reside in tiny towns and mostly raise cattle, farm, and trade. The horse is a significant symbol of the Hausa people, as it is linked to the royalty and their equestrian culture.
With 21.2 percent of the population, the Zarma ethnic group is the second largest in Niger. The vast majority of Zarma people live in Niger, accounting for around 95% of the population, with the remainder living in minor numbers in Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. The Songhay language group includes the Zarma language, which is spoken by the Zarma people. Sunni Islam is the Zarma people’s main religion. In the arid Sahel areas, the Zarma people largely inhabit near the Niger River Valley. The Zarma are a reasonably well-off people who own a variety of farm animals that they rent out to others. They are culturally, linguistically, and socially akin to the Songhai people of West Africa.
The Tuareg ethnic group is Niger’s third-largest, accounting for 9.9% of the country’s population. Tuareg people live in seven nations, with Niger accounting for around two-thirds of the Tuareg population. In the Tuareg group, which is part of the Afro-Asian group, there are five different languages spoken. The Tuareg people follow Islam as their primary religion, and they have been instrumental in the spread of Islam throughout Northern Africa. The Tuareg people are largely nomadic herders who reside in the Sahara Desert and control various trade routes as well as handling conflicts in the region. They’re best recognized for their indigo-dye-colored clothing and the way it stains their skin.
TOURIST AND HISTORICAL PLACES IN NIGER
Niamey – In the south-west, the city straddles the Niger River’s course, bustling with magnificent open-air marketplaces and a surprisingly heady nightlife scene after dark.
Nguigmi – With camel caravans coming and departing every day of the year, the entire place exudes the atmosphere you’d expect of a far-flung desert town.
Maradi – The country’s third-largest city will serve only as a transit point; a place to change transports or stock up before traveling out to Zinder’s ancient riches or the Nigerian border to the south.
Koure – The best place to see giraffes is in Kouré. The little village, surrounded by scorching and sandy Sahelian landscapes, is known for the long-necked animals that stalk its backcountry.
Dosso – Dosso, ancient Dosso, is one of the few palpable remaining relics of the pre-colonial era of Niger
Diffa – Diffa is a hard area to pinpoint. It’s been a persistent hotbed for military uprisings against the Niger government at times; at others – like today – it’s a receptacle for the thousands of migrants fleeing armed organizations and extremists that swarm across the Nigerian border.
Balleyara – A visit to Balleyara Market’s famous animal bazaar provides an insight into central African traditional customs. It attracts traders from Mali, Burkina Faso, and all throughout greater Niger, as it is a fusion of tribes and peoples.
Ayorou – Ayorou is known for the riparian habitats that surround the settlement, but it also stands on its own island, where the mosque and bazaar are located.
Arlit – deep in the wild Agadez Region, it’s one of the best gateways to the vast dunes of the Ténéré Desert.
Agadez – The town stands smack dab in the middle of the country, surrounded by the Sahara Desert’s sun-bleached dunes and the infinite yellow of the sand sea. A grid of tiny lanes and adobe, mud-brick homes make up the neighborhood.
Zinder – A maze of tight-knit lanes and hidden streets weaves and winds to form the hard-to-navigate heart of Zinder.
W National Park – The W National Park is unquestionably Niger’s most famous national park, and it has also been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique display of transition habitats between the savannah and the West African woodlands.
Timia – The modest clusters of low-rise homes are surrounded by beautiful fields of orchards and agricultural ground, and are fed by an oasis throughout the year.
Tahoua – Traditionally, here is where the Tuareg tribes of northern desert plains met the Fulani people of the country’s southern reaches.
MUSIC IN NIGER
The Nigerien government has been hesitant to adopt music for amusement purposes, though restrictions have eased following the death of Seyni Kountché in 1987. The Prix Dan Gourmou, a competitive music festival, aided in the country’s musical resurgence. Using a grant from the European Development Fund, the Centre for Musical Training and Promotion was established in 1990 to further this process. Musicians created bands to gain recognition both domestically and internationally, with Takeda, a Reggae singer, being the most successful.
Some musicians in Niger include:
Some art work in Niger include:
MEALS IN NIGER
Dambou – a native dish in Zarma and Songhai made from cereal and Moringa.
Stew – a meal made from combination of solid food ingredients, served with gravy.
Soup – liquid food, generally served warm or hot.
Jollof rice – a dish made from long-grain rice, common in West Africa.
Palm nut soup – a soup made from palm fruit extract.
Porridge – a meal made by heating or boiling ground or crushed starchy grain in milk or water.
Palm nut soup
Fonio – a meal generally served with couscous, known for its distinctive taste.
Djerma – an extraordinary meal, prepared basically with chicken.
Fari Massa – fried dough that is pretty exotic and delicious in nature.
Dounguouri soko – traditional Nigerien stew made with beans.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND HABITAT PROTECTION IN NIGER
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 1.0 percent of Niger is wooded, which is about 1,204,000 hectares. Primary forests, the most biodiverse and carbon-dense type of forest, accounts for 18.3 percent (220,000) of the total. In Niger, there were 148,000 hectares of planted forest.
Forest Cover Change: Niger lost an average of 37,050 acres every year between 1990 and 2010, which is about 1.90 percent per year. Niger lost 38.1 percent of its forest cover, or roughly 741,000 acres, between 1990 and 2010. Living forest biomass in Niger’s woods contains 37 million metric tons of carbon. Biodiversity and Protected Areas: According to the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Niger has 684 species of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles. An estimated 0.3 percent are endemic, meaning they can only be found in one country, while 1.8 percent are endangered. There are at least 1460 vascular plant species in Niger. IUCN classifications I-V protect 8.2 percent of Niger’s land.
EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN NIGER
The Sahel region’s high reliance on rain-fed agriculture and natural resources to support food security and livelihoods, rapid population growth, and chronic humanitarian crises due to recurrent drought, flooding, food insecurity, epidemics, and violent conflict exacerbate climate vulnerability in Niger. Droughts in 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2012 caused a food crisis in the region, which is currently being recovered from. According to 2015 data, the Sahel has over 20 million food insecure people and approximately 6 million malnourished children. Climate change in the Sahel will exacerbate existing vulnerabilities due to rapid population growth (an average of 3% per year) and recurring difficulties such as environmental degradation, widespread poverty, and political instability.
Water scarcity, extended dry seasons, and the effects of rising temperatures may exacerbate existing conflicts and forced migration in the region.
GENDER EQUALITY IN NIGER
Some progress has been made in the area of women’s rights on a global scale. Women had 25.9% of the seats in Niger’s parliament as of February 2021.
In Niger, however, more work needs to be done to attain gender equality. 76.3 percent of women aged 20–24 who were married or in a union before the age of 18 are still married or in a union. In 2016, the adolescent birth rate was 154 per 1,000 women aged 15-19, an increment from 146 in 2015.
Some prominent women in Niger include:
Aïchatou Boulama Kané – Nigerien politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and has been Minister of Planning since 2016.
Mariama Hima Yankori – Nigerien film director, ethnologist and politician. She became the first female Nigerien film director in the 1980s, and was State Secretary of Promotion of Women and Protection of Children, and later the first female Nigerien ambassador to France.
Rakiatou Christelle Kaffa-Jackou
Mariama Gamatié Bayard
Aïchatou Boulama Kané
Mariama Hima Yankori
Salifou Fatimata Bazeye – former President of Constitutional Court of Niger.
Dr Lalla Malika Issoufou Mahamadou – first lady of the Republic of Niger.
Eliane J. Allagbada – first female to serve as the President of the Court of Accounts in Niger.
Alidou Ousseina – Nigerien professor of African languages and Literatures.