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Republic of Niger

Niger location

Official language – French
Capital – Niamey (far-southwest corner of Niger)
National holiday – Independence Day, 3 August (1960) (from France)
Government type – Presidential Republic

Niger is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River.
Historically, what is now Niger has been on the fringes of several large states. Since independence, Nigeriens have lived under five constitutions and three periods of military rule. Following a military coup in 2010, Niger has become a democratic, multi-party state. A majority live in rural areas, and have little access to advanced education

Area – 1,267,000sq km – It makes Niger the largest nation in West Africa, with over 80 percent of its land area covered by the Sahara desert.
Border countries: Nigeria and Benin (in the south), Burkina Faso and Mali (in the west), Algeria and Libya (in the north), Chad (in the east)

Natural resources: uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, molybdenum, gypsum, salt, petroleum

Population – 20,7 mln (2016, UNCTAD)
Over half the population of Niger belong to the Hausa, who also constitute the major ethnic group in northern Nigeria, and the Zarma–Songhai, who also are found in parts of Mali. Both groups, along with the Gourmantche, are sedentary farmers who live in the arable, southern tier of the country.
The remainder of Nigeriens are nomadic or semi-nomadic livestock-raising peoples—Fulani, Tuareg, Kanuri, Arabs, and Toubou—who make up about 20% of Niger's population. With rapidly growing populations and the consequent competition for meager natural resources, lifestyles of agriculturalists and livestock herders have come increasingly into conflict in Niger in recent years.
A Nigerien study has found that more than 800,000 people are enslaved, almost 8% of the population.

Islam, spread from North Africa beginning in the 10th century, has greatly shaped the mores of the people of Niger.
80-98% of the population is Muslim, with small Animist and Christian communities, the latter a consequence of missionaries established during the French colonial years, as well as urban expatriate communities from Europe and West Africa.
Approximately 95% of Muslims in Niger are Sunni and Sufi; 5% are Shi'a

Calling code: 227