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Niger An agricultural nation in the Sahel zone
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 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
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 70 million euros being committed for a two-year period. In addition, the country receives funding under various multilateral and regional initiatives, including resilience programmes of the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF and the World Bank.
The focus of cooperation with the Niger is on two core areas:
- Peaceful and inclusive societies
Creating efficient, responsive administrative structures at the local level
- A world without hunger
Productive agriculture and the expansion of small-scale irrigation
In addition to that, the Federal Republic of Germany is also supporting the Republic of the Niger in the areas of population development and family planning and in strengthening health systems, especially in the field of reproductive health.
As at: 25/03/2022