Niger is slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture
Niger is a Northerly Western African landlocked country that is one of the hottest countries in the world. Niger Northern four-fifths is completely desert, the southern one-fifth is savanna used for livestock and agriculture.
The United Nations ranked Niger as the second least developed country in the world in 2016 because of food insecurity, lack of industry, high population growth, a weak educational sector, and few prospects for employment besides artisanal mining and subsistence farming and herding. The majority of the population in Niger is located in the southernmost extreme of the country along the border with Nigeria and Benin.
The US has a significant military presence in Niger to combat militants. Niger has become noted as a major transit route for migrants heading to Europe. Niger’s desert trade route town Agadez became a hub for West African and other sub-Saharan migrants crossing the Sahara to North Africa and sometimes onward to Europe. Niger is facing increased security concerns on its borders from various external threats including insecurity in Libya, spillover from the conflict in Mali, and violent extremism in northeastern Nigeria.
Niger has the highest total fertility rate of any country in the world, averaging close to seven children per woman in 2016. For more than half a century, Niger's lack of economic development has led to steady net outmigration. In the 1960s, Nigeriens mainly migrated to coastal West African Countries to work on a seasonal basis. Some headed to Libya and Algeria in the 1970s to work in the booming oil industry until its decline in the 1980s. Since the 1990s, the principal destinations for Nigerien labor migrants have been West African countries, especially Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.
Niger has some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Niger has two significant uranium mines providing nearly 8 percent of world mining production from Africa highest-grade uranium ores. The main use of uranium in the private citizen sector is to fuel nuclear power plants. Uranium metal is very dense and heavy and is used by the military as shielding to protect Army tanks, and in bullets and missiles.
Did you know?
Niger is named for the Niger River that passes through the southwest of the country; from a native term Ni Gir meaning River Gir.