World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Niger Travelling Guide


General background: Not until 1993, 35 years after independence from France, did Niger hold its first free and open elections. A 1995 peace accord ended a five-year Tuareg insurgency in the north. Coups in 1996 and 1999 were followed by the creation of a National Reconciliation Council that effected a transition to civilian rule by December 1999.

Area comparative: Slightly less than twice the size of Texas.

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

Population: 10,639,744 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Hausa 56%, Djerma 22%, Fula 8.5%, Tuareg 8%, Beri Beri (Kanouri) 4.3%, Arab, Toubou, and Gourmantche 1.2%, about 1,200 French expatriates

Religions: Muslim 80%, remainder indigenous beliefs and Christian

Language: French (official), Hausa, Djerma

Government type: Republic

Capital: Niamey

Legal system: Based on French civil law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic overview: Niger is a poor, landlocked Sub-Saharan nation, whose economy centers on subsistence agriculture, animal husbandry, reexport trade, and increasingly less on uranium, because of declining world demand. The 50% devaluation of the West African franc in January 1994 boosted exports of livestock, cowpeas, onions, and the products of Niger's small cotton industry. The government relies on bilateral and multilateral aid - which was suspended following the April 1999 coup d'etat - for operating expenses and public investment. In 2000-01, the World Bank approved a structural adjustment loan of $105 million to help support fiscal reforms. However, reforms could prove difficult given the government's bleak financial situation. The IMF approved a $73 million poverty reduction and growth facility for Niger in 2000 and announced $115 million in debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

Communication/Telephone system: Small system of wire, radio telephone communications, and microwave radio relay links concentrated in the southwestern area of Niger.

Places of interest: There's black volcanic mountains towering over green oases, cascading waterfalls, desert cities with wide tree-lined boulevards, and the beauty of the desert.

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