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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Niger

Niger was part of ancient and medieval African empires. The nomadic Tauregs and other groups established themselves in this area.

European explorers reached the area in the late 19th century. French military efforts to colonize Niger was intensified in the first two decades of the 20th century after the defeat of Tuareg fighters. By 1922, all resistance to colonial rule was eliminated and Niger became a French colony.

Niger officially gained independence from France on August 3, 1960 as part of the decolonization of the French Community.

The flag of Niger has been the national symbol of the West African Republic of Niger since November 23, 1959, eight and a half months prior to its formal independence from France. It uses the national colors of orange, white and green, in equal horizontal bands, with an orange rondel in the center.


Colonel Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara deposed the first democratically elected president of Niger, Mahamane Ousmane, in a military coup on January 27, 1996. Ousmane continued to run for president in each election after his ouster, and was president of the National Assembly from December 1999 to May 2009.

Boxer Issake Dabore was the first Nigerien person to compete at the Olympics and the first Nigerien to win an Olympic medal. On 1972 Dabore won a bronze medal in the men's light-welterweight contest.

Niger gets its name from the Niger River.

Niger covers a land area of 489,678 square miles (almost 1,270,000 km2), making it the largest country in West Africa, with over 80 percent of its land area covered by the Sahara Desert.

A map of Niger

The highest point is Mont Idoukal-n-Taghès in the Aïr Mountains at 2,022 m (6,634 ft).

Niger is consistently one of the lowest-ranked in the United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI); it was ranked last at 188th for 2014.

French, inherited from the colonial period, is the official language. It is spoken mainly as a second language by people who have received a formal western education and serves as the administrative language.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Niger has the lowest adult literacy rate at only 19.1 per cent.

A primary classroom in Niger.

Islam is the most dominant religion, practiced by 80% of the population.

Worldwide, the highest fertility rate is in Niger, where women give birth to an average of 7.58 children.

Niger had most reduced HIV incidence between 2001 and 2013 in Africa, with a 95% cut.

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