In 2002, Niger was a landlocked West African country with a population of approximately 10 million people. Its economy was primarily reliant on agriculture and livestock production, with about 80% of its population engaged in subsistence farming. Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, Niger had an advanced infrastructure which included an extensive network of roads and railways, as well as several international airports. According to computerannals, the standard of living in Niger was lower than the global average, with a per capita GDP that was significantly lower than other countries in the region. Education levels were also below average, with approximately 50% literacy rate among adults. In terms of economic reforms, the government had implemented several measures such as reducing trade tariffs and increasing foreign investment which had helped to boost economic growth. Additionally, efforts were also being made to improve health care services and access to education for all citizens which had helped to reduce poverty rates significantly. Furthermore, despite political instability due to military coups over the past decades, Niger had been making progress in terms of democratic reform since 1999 and was seen as one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa at that time.
Niger. According to Countryaah website, national day of Niger is every August 3. The civilian government suffered its first severe crisis since it took office in 2000, when army soldiers in Diffa in southeastern Niger made mutiny in early August. The soldiers took the governor, the mayor of the city, a member of parliament and several people from the security service hostage. In addition to being paid five months in arrears, the mythists demanded the departure of the commander and a meeting with the prime minister.
After a few days, the unrest spread to the capital Niamey, where an attempt at mutiny was quickly crushed. Several officers were arrested in Niamey for suspected conspiracy with the Diffa mythists. The army sent reinforcements to the isolated garrison town near the border with Nigeria and Chad. The Mysterists then fled into the desert with hostages and took shelter in a pair of solitary military sites, before the army, after ten days, was able to defeat the uprising. A few hundred soldiers were apprehended and some seventy fled, probably into Nigeria.
Niger is one of the poorest and most marginalized countries in Africa and the whole world: in 1998the World Bank attributed to the country a per capita income of 190dollars, one of the lowest values ever. The causes of poverty are many: some are structural in nature, others are attributable to events that have matured in the past decades, such as the drought crises of the 1970s and 1980s. Other events contributed to aggravating a difficult situation, including the dramatic political crisis, with the revolt of the Tuareg peoples, the persistent stagnation in the international demand for uranium (a resource of which the country is the second largest producer in the world) and instability politics (see below: History). Foreign debt, taking into account the real production resources available to the country, is enormous: in 1997 he approached 1, 6 billion dollars (863millions of dollars fifteen years earlier): almost six times the value of exports, and the payment of interest alone commits a fifth of the currency revenues.
Within the production framework of the country, the contribution of traditional sectors has remained substantially unchanged. Agricultural production is still conditioned by the weather and damaged by pests. Only 12 % of the surface of the Niger is usable for agricultural purposes: about 90 % of the active population is dedicated to agriculture and the sector contributes less than 40 % to the formation of GDP. The territory has been subject to a strong process of desertification (in the period 1980 – 85 the annual area lost was of the order of 50,000 ÷ 60. 000has); some reforestation projects are being implemented with the aim of halting or, at least, limiting the phenomenon.
The most widespread crops are those of cereals, destined, for the most part, for local consumption; traditional commercial crops (peanuts and cotton) are in sharp decline. The cultivation of some legumes (beans) has had some success which, thanks to the devaluation of the CFA franc, are abundantly exported (especially to Nigeria). Within the primary sector, it is animal husbandry (2 million cattle and 9 million sheep and goats) that has the greatest economic weight: the export of live or slaughtered cattle is the second active part of the balance, after uranium. trade of the country (whose consistency does not, however, exceed 10 % of the total).
To promote agricultural development and to fight recurrent drought crisis has recourse to the introduction of more resistant crops and the launch of local irrigation projects (are estimated at 40. 000 potentially irrigable hectares). However, the resumption of normal rainfall regimes led to the abandonment of these programs.
As for the resources of the subsoil, the main wealth of the country is constituted by the uranium deposits of Arlit, in the Air. Due to the drop in international demand, prices have fallen and revenues have risen from almost 90. 000 million CFA francs from 1986 to around 50. 000 million in 1992. Following the crisis in the sector, the government financed the search for other mineral resources, but only some of the numerous deposits found (cassiterite, coal, phosphates, iron ores, oil, gold) proved economically useful. To remember the gold fields of Koma Bangou, in the south-western region of the country, exploited with the cooperation of a Canadian company.
Manufacturing industries are modest in size and limited to the processing of agricultural products: overall, the contribution to GDP is just over 7 %. Some more modern companies, which processed imported products, were affected by the devaluation of the CFA franc and forced to suspend their activities: it is estimated that the loss of jobs was more than 3,000 units. The internal transport situation is also precarious. In the absence of railways, communications are carried out by the road network: a total of 13 are involved. 000 km of roads of which, however, only 3000 are asphalted.
Presidential and parliamentary elections are held
Niger holds presidential and parliamentary elections despite corona pandemic and new terrorist attacks. This is done with a large security effort around the country. The presidential election could be the first time that a peaceful change of power between two elected politicians takes place in Niger. About 30 candidates get approved by the Constitutional Court, but perhaps the most important opposition politician, Hama Amadou from Moden, is rejected by the court because he has previously been convicted of infant smuggling (see November 2020). The official result of the first round of the presidential election shows that NPDS candidate Mohamed Bazoum gets just over 39 percent of the vote against 17 percent for former president Mahamane Ousmane from the DRR party. Seyni Oumarou from NMDS gets 9 percent while Albadé Abouba from PMR takes home 7 percent of the votes. Ibrahim Yacouba from NPM wins just over 5 percent. Turnout is just under 70 percent. A second and decisive election round between Bazoum and Ousmane will be held on 20 February. In the parliamentary elections, the ruling PNDS wins 80 out of 166 seats, while the opposition Moden takes home 19 seats and the MNSD 13 seats. The Congress of the Republic (CPR) wins 8 seats, the RDR 7 seats and the Nigerian Patriotic Movement (MPN) 6 seats. Other mandates go to small parties.
About 20 dead in a new terrorist attack
Seven army soldiers and eleven suspected jihadists are killed when an army patrol is attacked by heavily armed perpetrators in Taroun in the Tillaberi region of southwestern Niger.
Local elections are being held despite a major terrorist attack
13th of December
Municipal and regional elections are held, two weeks before the presidential election is held. The governing party PNDS wins big. Local elections have previously been postponed due to attacks by jihadists, especially in the Diffa region in the southeast, making it impossible to conduct the elections in a free and secure manner. This time too, about 30 people were killed the night before election day in an attack on the city of Toumour in Diffa, but the election authority still chooses to conduct the elections. Authorities are targeting Boko Haram or the IS-loyal Iswap. Boko Haram takes on the deed.
Attack on army post in the southeast
Two forest workers are killed, three soldiers are injured and two soldiers are missing after an attack on a military post and a nature conservation center in Tapoa in southeastern Niger. The attackers set two vehicles on fire and drove away with a third. The attack is the first in the southeastern part of the country in almost a year. The latest similar attack occurred in January 2020 in Chinegodar, when 89 soldiers were killed. The perpetrators are unknown. The area has for several years had problems with attacks from militant Islamists. Niger will hold local and regional elections on December 13 and presidential elections on December 27.