As at: 05/05/2023

Historical building in Zinder, Niger

The Niger An agricultural nation in the Sahel zone

Bilateral development cooperation is temporarily suspended after military coup

The BMZ is in close contact with its partners on how to proceed; the positioning of the African Union and ECOWAS are of particular importance to the BMZ.

On 26 July 2023, parts of the military detained Niger's president, Mohamed Bazoum, and declared him deposed. The political and security situation is unclear. For more information, see the website of the Federal Foreign Office:

Straight to
Men in Niamey, Niger, reading newspapers

The West African country gained its independence from France in 1960. The decades that followed were marked by a changing parade of military governments and several coups. From 1999 to 2009, the Niger was governed by the democratically elected President Mamadou Tandja, under whose leadership the country managed to attain a certain degree of stability. Hopes that the Niger would achieve democratisation and economic development went unfulfilled, however, as Tandja’s rule became increasingly autocratic.

Having refused to step down in 2009 after the maximum of two terms in office as prescribed under the country’s constitution, Tandja was ousted in a military coup in 2010. A new constitution affording more civil rights was devised, which was approved by the people of the Niger in a referendum. In early 2011, elections were held at the municipal, regional and national levels. Mahamadou Issoufou, a long-time opposition leader, won the presidential elections in 2011; in 2016 he was re-elected for a further term in office.

In February 2021, the country saw the first ever transition from one democratically elected leader to another. The winner of the presidential elections, in which Issoufou was not allowed to participate after two terms in office, was former interior minister Mohamed Bazoum of the governing Party for Democracy and Socialism (Parti nigérien pour la démocratie et le socialisme, PNDS).

The Niger government has set itself ambitious development goals. They include reducing poverty and food insecurity, strengthening and consolidating democracy, improving the country’s governance, promoting girls' education, boosting economic development and stabilising the security situation.

German development cooperation with the Niger

Defence Minister Pistorius and Development Minister Schulze arriving in Niger

After the Niger returned to democracy, Germany's development cooperation activities, which had been temporarily suspended, were resumed in 2011. The most recent government negotiations between Germany and the Niger took place in June 2021, with around 120 million euros being committed for a two-year period. In addition, the country also benefits from BMZ funding for various multilateral and regional initiatives, including the resilience programmes of the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF and the World Bank.

The focus of cooperation with the Niger is on three core areas:

  • Transformation of agricultural and food systems, with the goal of increasing the economic potential of agriculture through training for farmers and the expansion of small-scale irrigation, among other measures.
  • Peaceful and inclusive societies, with the goal of creating efficient, responsive administrative structures at the local level.
  • Health, social protection and population policy, with a focus on maternal and child health.

German development cooperation activities in the Niger have traditionally centred on the regions of Tillabéri, Tahoua and Agadez, with additional transitional development assistance in Maradi, Zinder and Diffa.

Construction of dams and stone barriers to adapt agriculture to Niger's climatic conditions

Core area “Transformation of agricultural and food systems” Increasing the economic potential of agriculture Internal link

The Niger is a landlocked country. The majority of the Niger’s surface area is covered by the Sahara, with the rest of the country being part of the semi-arid Sahel zone. Only a small part of the country is suitable for farming. Germany is supporting the Niger in protecting natural resources and in restoring land that has been depleted so that it can once more be used for agriculture, forestry and grazing.

Spice trade on the market in Niamey, Niger

Core area “Peaceful and inclusive societies” Strengthening municipal structures Internal link

Germany is assisting the Niger in developing local governance structures in a variety of ways. For instance, development plans have been drawn up for projects in selected municipalities. All groups within society were involved in drawing up these plans.

A woman on a street in Niamey, Niger

Core area “Health, social protection and population policy” Maternal and child health Internal link

The BMZ is supporting the Niger with programmes promoting reproductive health, family planning and girls’ education, and for the prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula.

Current situation

Political situation
Men in Niamey, Niger, reading newspapers
Social situation
View of the Niger river in Niamey
Economic situation
Woman in front of a community garden in Maradi, Niger
Migration and displacement
Refugees in Ouallam, Niger