General information: Only in 1993, 33 years after the declaration of independence (until 1960 – a colony of France), the first free and open elections were held in Niger. The five-year Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country ended in 1995 with the conclusion of a peace agreement. Coups of 1996 and 1999 led to the creation of the Council of National Reconciliation, which made the transition to civilian rule in December 1999.
Location: West Africa, southeast of Algiers. See franciscogardening.com to know more about Niger Geography.
Geographical coordinates: 16° 00′ N. latitude, 8° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 1.267 million square kilometers; land surface area: 1,266,700 km2; water surface area: 300 km2
Comparative area: slightly less than twice the area of the state of Texas.
Land borders: total length: 5,697 km; with neighboring states: with Algeria 956 km, with Benin 266 km, with Burkina Faso 628 km, with Chad 1,175 km, with Libya 354 km, with Mali 821 km, with Nigeria 1,497 km.
Coastline: 0 km (country is landlocked).
Maritime claims: none (country is landlocked).
Climate: deserted; predominantly hot, dry, tropical in the far south.
Terrain: mostly desert plains and sand dunes; low and rolling plains in the south; hills in the north.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Niger River 200 m; highest point: Mount Grebun 1,944 m
Natural resources: uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, oil.
Land use: arable land: 3%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 7%; forests and plantations: 2%; others: 88% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 660 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: Periodic droughts.
Current environmental issues: overgrazing; soil erosion; deforestation; desertification; poaching and destruction of natural habitats that threaten wildlife populations (particularly elephants, hippos, giraffes and lions).
International environmental agreements: member: Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Endangered species, Environmental change, Hazardous waste, Nuclear test ban, Ozone layer protection, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea.
Note to the section “Geography”: the country has no access to the sea.
Population: 10 355 156 people (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 47.97% (male 2,528,484; female 2,439,051); 15 to 64 years old: 49.75% (male 2,518,400; female 2,633,677); over 65: 2.28% (male 123,589; female 111,955) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 2.72% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 50.68 newborn / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 22.71 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -0.73 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.96 male/female; over 65: 1.1 male/female; for the general population: 1 male/female. (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 123.57 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 41.59 years; men: 41.74 years; women: 41.44 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 7.08 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: 1.35% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 64,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 6,500 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: resident of Niger; adjective: pertaining to Niger.
Ethnic groups: Hausa 56%, Djerma 22%, Fulbe 8.5%, Tuareg 8%, Beri-Beri (Kanuri) 4.3%, Arabs, Tubu and Gourmanche 1.2%, about 1,200 French expatriates.
Believers: Muslims 80%, adherents of local beliefs and Christians.
Language(s): French (official), Hausa, Djerma.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 13.6%; men: 20.9%; women: 6.6% (1995 est.).
conventional long form: Republic of the Niger;
conventional short form: Niger; local long form: Republique du Niger; local short form: Niger.
State structure: republic.
Administrative division: 7 departments and 1 metropolitan area*: Agadez, Diffa, Doso, Zin-der, Maradi, Niamey*, Tahoua, Tillabéri.
Independence: August 3, 1960 (until 1960 – a colony of France).
National holiday: Republic Day, 18 December (since 1958).
Constitution: The constitution adopted in January 1993 was revised by a national referendum in May 1996 and subsequently on 18 July 1999.
Legal system: based on the French civil law system and customary law; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Mamadou TANDJA (since 22 December 1999) note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of the government: President Mamadou TANDJA (since December 22, 1999); note – the president is both head of state and head of government; Prime Minister Hama AMADOU (since 31 December 1999) has been appointed President and shares some executive powers with him; note: President Ibrahim BARE was assassinated on April 9, 1999; the subsequent elections were held during a nine-month interim government led by Major Daouda Mallam WANKE;
Government: a cabinet of ministers (23 members) appointed by the president of TANJA; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; elections last held 24 November 1999 (next to be held in 2004); election results: Mamadou TANJA elected president; percentage of votes – Mahamadou TANJA 59.9%, Mahamadou ISSUFU (Mahamadou ISSOU-FOU) 40.1%.
Legislature: unicameral National Assembly (83 members elected by popular vote for a five-year term); elections: elections last held 24 November 1999 (next to be held in 2004); election results: distribution of votes by parties – no data; seat distribution by party – MNSD-Nassara 38, CDS-Rahama 17, PNDS-Tarayya 16, RDP-Jama’a 8, ANDPS-Zaman Lahiya 4.
Judiciary: State Court; Court of Appeal.
Political parties and leaders: Democratic People’s Rally-Jama’a (RDP-Jama’a) (Hamid ALGABID); Democratic and Social Convention – Rahama (CDS-Rahama) (Mahamane USMANE [Ma-hamane OUSMANE]); National Movement for a Developing Society – Nassara (MNSD-Nassara) (Mamadou TANJA, Chairman); Union for Democracy and Social Progress of Nige- o ra-Zaman Lahiya (ANDPS-Zaman Lahiya) (Moumouni Adamou DJERMAKOYE); Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism-Tarayya (PNDS-Tarayya) (Mahamadou ISSUFU); Chamoua Union of Democratic Patriots and Progressives (UPDP-Chamoua) (Professor Andre’ SALIFOU, Chairman).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM.OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WADB, WAEMU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, ‘WToO, WTrO.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Joseph DIATTA; office: 2204 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; Phone:  (202) 483-4224 to 483-4227.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Charles CECIL (Charles 0. CECIL); embassy: Rue Des Ambassades, Niamey; postal address: W. R. 11201, Niamey, telephone:  72 26 61 to 72 26 64; fax:  73 31 67.
Description of the flag: three equal horizontal stripes of orange (top), white and green with a small orange circle depicting the sun in the center of the white stripe; similar to the flag of India, which has a blue wheel in the center of the white stripe.