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Diplomacy in Action

Niger (10/12/10)


October 12, 2010

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For the most current version of this Note, see Background Notes A-Z.

PROFILE

Geography
Area: 1,267,000 sq. km (490,000 sq. mi.); about three times the size of California.
Cities: Capital--Niamey (pop. approx. 1.4 million).
Other cities--Tahoua, Konni, Maradi, Zinder, Diffa, Dosso, Arlit, and Agadez.
Terrain: About two-thirds desert and mountains, one-third savanna.
Climate: Hot, dry, and dusty. Rainy season June - September.

People
Nationality: Noun and Adjective--Nigerien(s).
Population (2010 est.) 16,300,000.
Annual growth rate (2010): 3.3%.
Ethnic groups: Hausa 53%, Djerma (Zarma) 21%, Fulani 7%, Tuareg 11%, Beri Beri (Kanuri) 6%; Arab, Toubou, and Gourmantche 2%.
Religions: Islam (97%); remainder traditional and Christian.
Languages: French (official), Hausa, Djerma, Fulfulde, Kanuri, Tamachek, Toubou, Gourmantche, Arabic.
Education: Years compulsory--6. Attendance--45% (men), 31% (women). Literacy (2008)--30.% (15% for women).
Health: Infant mortality rate--150/1,000. Life expectancy—51 yrs.

Government
Type: Republic.
Independence: August 3, 1960.
Constitution: A new constitution will be voted on in a national referendum on October 31, 2010.
Branches: Executive--president and prime minister. On February 18, all state institutions were dissolved, including the Assembly. There will be a Constitutional referendum on October 31, 2010, which will re-instate the National Assembly. Legislative elections Judicial--Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, High Court of Justice.
Political parties: 52 Political Parties
Suffrage: The constitution provides for universal suffrage for Nigeriens age 18 or older.
Administrative subdivisions: Eight regions subdivided into 36 districts (departments) and 266 communes (local councils, both urban and rural).

Economy
GDP (2009): $5.34 billion.
Annual growth rate (2009): 1.2%.
Per capita GDP (2009): $360.
Avg. inflation rate (2009): 4.8%.
Avg. inflation rate (Sept. 09 to Aug. 2010): 0.6%
Natural resources: Uranium, gold, oil, coal, iron, tin, and phosphates.
Agriculture (27.9% of GDP): Products--millet, sorghum, cowpeas, peanuts, cotton, onion and rice.
Industry (10.5% of GDP): Types--textiles, cement, soap, and beverages.
Trade (2008): Exports (freight on board--f.o.b.)--$341 million. Types--uranium, livestock, gold, cowpeas, and onions. Major markets--France 31.2%, Nigeria 18.2%, Japan 14.1%, Spain 8.4%, U.S. 1.7%. Imports (f.o.b.)--$984 million. Types--consumer goods, petroleum, foodstuffs, and industrial products. Major suppliers--France 15.2%, China 15.1%, U.S.9.5%, Nigeria 7.9%, Cote d'Ivoire5.1%, India 3.2%, Japan 5.6%.

PEOPLE
The largest ethnic groups in Niger are the Hausa, who also constitute the major ethnic group in northern Nigeria, and the Djerma-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. With rapidly growing populations and the consequent competition for meager natural resources, lifestyles of agriculturalists and livestock herders are increasingly threatened.

Niger's high infant mortality rate is comparable to levels recorded in neighboring countries. However, the child mortality rate (deaths among children under age of 5) is particularly high (198 per 1,000) due to generally poor health conditions and inadequate nutrition for most of the country's children. Niger's fertility rate (7.8 births/woman), is among the highest in the world, and is far higher than the sub-Saharan African average of 5.4. Two-thirds (66.7%) of the Nigerien population is under age 25. The primary school net enrollment rate is 49% for boys and 31% for girls. Additional education occurs through thousands of Koranic schools.

HISTORY
Considerable evidence indicates that about 600,000 years ago, humans inhabited what has since become the desolate Sahara of northern Niger. Long before the arrival of French influence and control in the area, Niger was an important economic crossroads, and the empires of Songhai, Mali, Gao, Kanem, and Bornu, as well as a number of Hausa states, claimed control over portions of the area.

During recent centuries, the nomadic Tuareg formed large confederations, pushed southward, and, siding with various Hausa states, clashed with the Fulani Empire of Sokoto, which had gained control of much of the Hausa territory in the late 18th century.

In the 19th century, contact with the West began when the first European explorers--notably Mungo Park (British) and Heinrich Barth (German)--explored the area searching for the mouth of the Niger River. Although French efforts at pacification began before 1900, dissident ethnic groups, especially the desert Tuareg, were not subdued until 1922, when Niger became a French colony.

Niger's colonial history and development parallel that of other French West African territories. France administered its West African colonies through a governor-general at Dakar, Senegal, and governors in the individual territories, including Niger. In addition to conferring French citizenship on the inhabitants of the territories, the 1946 French constitution provided for decentralization of power and limited participation in political life for local advisory assemblies.

A further revision in the organization of overseas territories occurred with the passage of the Overseas Reform Act (Loi Cadre) of July 23, 1956, followed by reorganization measures enacted by the French Parliament early in 1957. In addition to removing voting inequalities, these laws provided for creation of governmental organs, assuring individual territories a large measure of self-government. After the establishment of the Fifth French Republic on December 4, 1958, Niger became an autonomous state within the French Community. Following full independence on August 3, 1960, however, membership was allowed to lapse.

For its first 14 years as an independent state, Niger was run by a single-party civilian regime under the presidency of Hamani Diori. In 1974, a combination of devastating drought and accusations of rampant corruption resulted in a military coup that overthrew the Diori regime. Lieutenant Colonel Seyni Kountche and a small group of military ruled the country until Kountche's death in 1987. He was succeeded by his chief of staff, Brigadier General Ali Saibou, who released political prisoners, liberalized some of Niger's laws and policies, and promulgated a new constitution. However, President Saibou's efforts to control political reforms failed in the face of union and student demands to institute a multi-party democratic system. The Saibou regime acquiesced to these demands by the end of 1990. New political parties and civic associations sprang up, and a national conference was convened in July 1991 to prepare the way for the adoption of a new constitution and the holding of free and fair elections. The debate was often contentious and accusatory, but under the leadership of Prof. Andre Salifou, the conference developed consensus on the modalities of a transition government. A transition government was installed in November 1991 to manage the affairs of state until the institutions of the Third Republic were put into place in April 1993. While the economy deteriorated over the course of the transition, certain accomplishments stand out, including the successful conduct of a constitutional referendum; the adoption of key legislation such as the electoral and rural codes; and the holding of several free, fair, and nonviolent nationwide elections. Freedom of the press flourished with the appearance of several new independent newspapers.

Rivalries within a ruling coalition elected in 1993 led to governmental paralysis, which provided Col. Ibrahim Bare Mainassara a rationale to overthrow the Third Republic and its President, Mahamane Ousmane, in January 1996. While leading a military authority that ran the government (Conseil de Salut National) during a 6-month transition period, Bare enlisted specialists to draft a new constitution for a Fourth Republic announced in May 1996. After dissolving the national electoral committee, Bare organized and won a flawed presidential election in July 1996 and his party won 90% of parliament seats in a flawed legislative election in November 1996. When his efforts to justify his coup and subsequent questionable elections failed to convince donors to restore multilateral and bilateral economic assistance, a desperate Bare ignored an international embargo against Libya and sought Libyan funds to aid Niger's economy. In repeated violations of basic civil liberties by the regime, opposition leaders were imprisoned; journalists often arrested, beaten, and deported by an unofficial militia composed of police and military; and independent media offices were looted and burned with impunity.

In the culmination of an initiative started under the 1991 national conference, however, the government signed peace accords in April 1995 with all Tuareg and Toubou groups that had been in rebellion since 1990, claiming they lacked attention and resources from the central government. The government agreed to absorb some former rebels into the military and, with French assistance, to help others return to a productive civilian life.

In April 1999, Bare was overthrown and assassinated in a coup led by Maj. Daouda Mallam Wanke, who established the transitional National Reconciliation Council to oversee the drafting of a constitution for a Fifth Republic with a French style semi-presidential system. In elections that international observers found to be generally free and fair, the Nigerien electorate approved the new constitution in July 1999 and held legislative and presidential elections in October and November 1999. Heading a coalition of the National Movement for the Development of Society (MNSD) and the Democratic and Social Convention (CDS), Mamadou Tandja won the presidency.

In July 2004, Niger held municipal elections nationwide as part of its decentralization process. Some 3,700 people were elected to new local governmental positions in 265 newly established communes. Although the ruling MNSD party won more positions than any other political party, opposition parties made significant gains.

In November and December 2004, Niger held presidential and legislative elections. Mamadou Tandja was elected to his second 5-year presidential term with 65% of the vote in an election that international observers called generally free and fair. This was the first presidential election with a democratically elected incumbent and was a test to Niger's young democracy.

In the 2004 legislative elections, the National Movement for the Development of Society, the Democratic and Socialist Convention (CDS), the Rally for Social Democracy (RSD), the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), the Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ANDP), and the Social Party for Nigerien Democracy (PSDN) coalition, all of which which backed Tandja, won 88 of the 113 seats in the National Assembly.

In February 2007, a previously unknown rebel group, the Movement of Nigeriens for Justice (MNJ), emerged as a formidable threat to peace in the north of Niger. The predominantly Tuareg group issued a number of demands, mainly related to development in the north. It attacked military and other facilities and laid landmines in the north. The resulting insecurity devastated Niger's tourist industry and deterred investment in mining and oil. The government labeled the MNJ criminals and traffickers, and refused to negotiate with the group until it disarmed.

Since then, the Government of Niger, with U.S. encouragement that included a conflict negotiation workshop facilitated by the U.S. Institute of Peace, pursued several rounds of peace talks with the MNJ and other rebel groups, resulting in a de facto ceasefire, weapons handovers, and an executive order providing amnesty to rebels and those who supported them, including members of the Nigerien Armed Forces. The Government of Niger has made considerable progress in bringing peace and stability to the region; following the November 2009 lifting of the state of alert for Agadez Region, tourists are able to travel to and within the urban parts of Agadez city.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
President Mamadou Tandja, who should have left office in December 2009 after having served two consecutive five-year terms, manipulated political events to prolong his rule. To do so, in 2009 he mounted a campaign to replace the 1999 constitution, which he could not amend, with one that would eliminate term limits and consolidate presidential authority, a clear violation of the 1999 constitution. Overriding the formal ruling of the Constitutional Court and the views of pro-democracy civil society and political parties, Tandja forced through a costly referendum and instituted the 6th Republic. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sent a mediator to help bring an end to the political crisis; however, after three rounds of discussion no solution to break the impasse had occurred by mid-February 2010.

On February 18, 2010 military forces stormed the presidential compound and took members of the president’s senior staff and ministers into custody. There were few casualties, and by that evening leaders of the military junta who led the coup against Tandja announced on Niger’s public television station that the government would be led by a new entity called, the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD).

In April, the president of the CSRD and leader of the coup, Major Salou Djibo, chaired a national ceremony for the installation of the National Consultative Council (NCC), charged with providing guidance on all questions of national interest and producing versions of the “fundamental documents,” notably a draft constitution, a draft electoral code, a draft political parties’ charter, draft statutes for the opposition, and a draft law on public access to information. On May 6, the CSRD accepted the NCC’s proposal for a 12-month transition to democracy, retroactive to February 18, 2010.

On September 2, the CSRD president approved the draft constitution submitted by the NCC; on October 1, he signed a decree calling voters for a constitutional referendum on October 31. According to the timeline approved by the CSRD, this should be followed by local elections on January 8, 2011, and first-round presidential elections in conjunction with parliamentary elections on January 31. The second round presidential elections (if required) will take place on March 12, 2011 and the inauguration of the new president will take place on April 6, 2011. The new electoral timeline will extend the transition period by about 20 days.

Niger's independent judicial system is composed of four higher courts--the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court, the High Court of Justice, and the Constitutional Court. In January 2007, the National Assembly voted to divide the Supreme Court into three high courts--an Administrative Court, a Supreme Court of Justice, and an Audit Court. Under the current transition, the judicial system comprises the Transition Constitutional Council, the State Court, the Audit Court, and the Court of Appeals.

The country is currently divided into 8 regions, which are subdivided into 36 districts (departments). The chief administrators in each region (governor) and department (prefect) are appointed by the GON and function primarily as the local agents of the central authorities.

Principal Government Officials
President of the Council Supreme for the Restoration of Democracy, General of the Army Corps, and Chief of State--General Salou Djibou
Prime Minister--Mamadou Danda
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation-- Aminata Maiga Djibrilla Toure
Ambassador to the United States-- vacant

Niger’s embassy in the United States is at 2204 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-483-4224/25/26/27) and to permanent mission to the United Nations is at 417 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022 (tel. 212-421-3260).

Next Elections Scheduled
Presidential elections--First Round, January 31, 2011; Second Round, March 12, 2010;
Legislative elections--January 31, 2011;
Local elections--January 8, 2011. Last held in December 2009.

ECONOMY
One of the poorest countries in the world, ranking last on the United Nations Human Development Index, Niger's economy is based largely on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Traditional subsistence farming, herding, small trading, seasonal migration, and informal markets dominate an economy that generates few formal sector jobs.

Niger's agricultural and livestock sectors are the mainstay of all but 20% of the population. Fourteen percent of Niger's GDP is generated by livestock production--camels, goats, sheep, and cattle--said to support 29% of the population. The 15% of Niger's land that is arable is found mainly along its southern border with Nigeria. Rainfall varies and when insufficient, Niger has difficulty feeding its population and must rely on grain purchases and food aid to meet food requirements. In 2004 localized drought and locust infestations contributed to a 11% drop in the harvest and led to a disaster declaration by the U.S. Embassy

In 2007, foreign exchange earnings from livestock (18.8%) were second only to those from uranium (30.8), followed by onions (15.6%) and gold (9.7%). Actual livestock exports far exceed official statistics, which often do not include large herds of animals that are simply walked across the border to markets in Nigeria. Some hides and skins are exported, and some are transformed into handicrafts.

Niger’s revenue from uranium exports varies according to global prices. The French nuclear power concern AREVA owns controlling shares in Niger's two national mining companies. As a result of higher world prices in 2007, AREVA agreed to pay the Government of Niger double what it had been paying for uranium. In 2007 a U.S. public utility holding company, Exelon Corporation, signed a contract with the Government of Niger to buy 300 tons of uranium each year for the next 10 years. AREVA controls the only two existing uranium mines in Niger (COMINAK's underground mine and SOMAIR's open pit mine) and is developing a huge new mine at Imouraren, which is expected to begin production in 2011. High uranium prices renewed interest in exploration, and in 2007 the Government of Niger awarded 122 new mineral exploration licenses to companies from France, China, Canada, Australia, India, South Africa, and the United States, but current market conditions make it difficult to finance exploration.

Exploitable deposits of gold are known to exist in Niger in the region between the Niger River and the border with Burkina Faso. Niger’s sole commercial gold mine, Samira Hill, opened in the region of Tera on October 5, 2004. Samira Hill is owned by a company called SML (Societe des Mines du Liptako), which is a joint venture between a Canadian company--Societe SEMAFO Inc.(80%) and the Government of Niger (20%). Gold prices have been very strong in recent years, but income from the Samira mine was limited until April 2009, because a percentage of the mine’s production had been committed to forward sales at a lower price when the mine was initially financed. Now that this commitment has been fulfilled, Samira’s production is sold at market price, and SML was recently awarded an additional concession that will extend the life of the mine.

Niger also has oil potential. In 2006 an ExxonMobil-Petronas joint venture ceased exploration activities at what may be Niger's largest oil deposit, the Agadem block, north of Lake Chad. In 2007, nineteen companies vied for exploration and production rights to the Agadem block, but none of these bids were accepted. The Government of Niger subsequently awarded the Agadem block to the China National Petroleum Company, which agreed to construct a refinery north of Zinder. Both the petroleum and the refinery are under active development. The parastatal SONICHAR (Societe Nigerienne de Charbon) in Tchirozerine (north of Agadez) extracts coal from an open pit and fuels an electricity generating plant that supplies energy to the uranium mines. There are additional low quality coal deposits southwest of the current mines. Substantial deposits of phosphates, iron, limestone, and gypsum also have been found in Niger.

Niger’s economic growth rates vary widely reflecting the effect of rainfall on agricultural output. In 2005 the economy showed strong growth (7.1% increase in real GDP) resulting from the agricultural sector's recovery from the poor harvests of 2004, when GDP actually dropped by 0.6%. In 2006, the real GDP growth rate was 4.8%. In 2007, after a below average harvest, GDP grew by only 3.1%, and with a very good harvest in 2008 it shot up by over 9%. The government actively seeks foreign private investment and considers it key to restoring economic growth and development. With the assistance of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), it has undertaken a concerted effort to revitalize the private sector. To try to attract investors, it revised the investment code (1997 and 2000), petroleum code (1992 and 2007), and mining code (1993). Niger has attracted significant new investments in uranium (AREVA’s new mine), the petroleum sector, and cellular communications, but poor legal and physical infrastructure make investment less attractive for smaller firms.

Niger shares a common currency, the CFA franc, and a common central bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), with seven other members of the West African Monetary Union. The Treasury of the Government of France supplements the BCEAO's international reserves in order to maintain a fixed rate of 656 CFA to the euro.

The CFA is freely convertible to euro or dollars. There is no restriction on the number of euro or dollars that can be converted into CFA. There are restrictions, however, on converting CFA to euro or dollars. For amounts greater than CFA 800,000 (approximately USD 1,800 or Euro 1,200) approval from the Ministry of Finance is needed (travelers need only to show a passport and a plane ticket).

Economic Reform
In December 2000, Niger qualified for enhanced debt relief under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and concluded an agreement with the Fund on a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). In January 2001, Niger reached decision point and subsequently reached completion point in 2004. The debt relief provided under the enhanced HIPC initiative reduces Niger's annual debt service obligations, freeing about $40 million per year over the coming years for expenditures on basic health care, primary education, HIV/AIDS prevention, rural infrastructure, and other programs geared at poverty reduction. Debt service as a percentage of government revenue was slashed from nearly 44% in 1999 to 10.9% in 2003 and will average 4.3% during 2010-2019. The debt relief cut debt service as a percentage of export revenue from more than 23% to 8.4% in 2003, and decreases it to about 5% in later years. In 2005, the IMF canceled all Niger's debts to it (approximately $111 million) incurred before January 2005. In 2006, the African Development Fund canceled $193 million in debt for Niger. The World Bank announced that approximately $745 million in debt relief for Niger would be phased in over the next 37 years.

In its effort to consolidate macroeconomic stability under the PRGF, the government is also taking action to reduce corruption, and as the result of a participatory process encompassing civil society, has devised a Poverty Reduction Strategy Plan that focuses on improving health, primary education, rural infrastructure, agricultural production, environmental protection, and judicial reform. The GON continues to implement the Public Expenditure Management and Fiscal Accountability Review Program (PEMFAR), which has led to the separation of regulatory and accountability functions in the Treasury and improved government mechanisms for the control of internal auditing of government expenditures.

Under the auspices of the World Bank, the government launched a major privatization effort in 1998 to divest itself of monopolies in water, power, and telecommunications and to transfer other public enterprises to private sector management. In 2001 Niger successfully privatized its telecommunications monopoly; however, the privatization of other industries has stalled. The privatization of the state-owned electric utility (NIGELEC) and the national oil distribution company (SONIDEP) are on hold indefinitely. Three mobile phone and two internet operating licenses have been granted and genuine competition in these sectors is helping to expand access and reduce costs for consumers. An independent multisectoral regulatory body agency has been created to help ensure free and fair competition.

Foreign Aid
The most important donors in Niger are France, the European Union, the World Bank, the IMF, and UN agencies--UNDP, UNICEF, FAO, WFP, and UNFPA. Other donors include the United States, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, China, Italy, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Denmark, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has a field office that operates within the U.S. Embassy in Niamey. The United States provided 95 million USD in 2010 and provides approximately $30 million to Niger's development during FY 10 (including $15 million in non-emergency P.L. 480 food assistance, and $15 million in agriculture, nutrition, peace and security, election support and democracy and governance). An additional $40 million in emergency food assistance in response to the poor harvest of 2010 was also made available. The development and emergency programs are mostly implemented by US Private Voluntary Organizations and contractors; a limited amount of this support is made available to UN agencies such as WFP and UNICEF. In early 2008 Niger concluded an agreement for a $23 million Millennium Challenge Account Threshold Program to provide support for Girls Education and improved governance. This program was suspended during FY 2010 due to the political situation experienced with the previous regime and both components formally ended September 2010. Foreign aid represents 8.3% of Niger's GDP and over 40% of government revenues.

DEFENSE
Niger’s armed forces of about 15,000 personnel, includes a small air force, a national gendarmerie, and army personnel. The air force operates several transport and observation aircraft and attack helicopters. The military is organized into five defense zones, roughly aligned with national administrative boundaries and comprise two paratroop units, four light-armored units, and nine motorized infantry units. In 1991, Niger sent 400 men to join the American-led allied forces against Iraq during the Gulf War. Niger provides a battalion of peacekeeping forces to UN missions in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI), Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Burundi.

Niger's defense budget is modest, accounting for less than 2% of government expenditures. France provides the largest share of military assistance to Niger and has several French military cooperation officers assigned here. Many Nigerien military personnel receive training in France, and the Nigerien armed forces are equipped mainly with materiel either given by or purchased in France. Morocco, Algeria, China, and Libya also provide some military assistance. A small U.S. foreign military assistance program began in 1983. A U.S. Defense Attaché office opened in June 1985 and assumed Security Assistance Office responsibilities in 1987. The office closed in 1996 following a coup d'etat but reopened in July 2000. The United States provided transportation and logistical assistance to Nigerien troops deployed to Cote d'Ivoire in 2003.

From 2003 to 2008, under the framework of the Department of State’s Pan-Sahel Initiative and the Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP), a significant amount of military-to-military cooperation initiatives were initiated, including the training and equipping of specialized counterterrorism and military intelligence units. In 2009, military cooperation was suspended, including military-to-military and security assistance activities and training provided under TSCTP. The United States Africa Command contributes funds for humanitarian projects throughout the country.

FOREIGN RELATIONS
Niger pursues a moderate foreign policy and maintains friendly relations with the West and the Islamic world, as well as nonaligned countries. It is a member of the United Nations and its main specialized agencies and in 1980-81 served on the Security Council. Niger maintains a special relationship with France and enjoys close relations with its West African neighbors. Although Niger was suspended from the Economic Community of West African States in 2009, it is a charter member of the African Union and the West African Monetary Union and also belongs to the Niger River and Lake Chad Basin Commissions, the Nonaligned Movement, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In 2010, Niger was elected to the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Telecommunications Union.

U.S.-NIGERIEN RELATIONS
U.S. relations with Niger since its independence have generally been close and friendly, but President Tandja's undemocratic actions in 2009 have put a strain on U.S.-Niger bilateral relations. As a consequence, the U.S. stopped all non-humanitarian projects in Niger in December 2009. The ban on most bilateral assistance will remain in place until after the transition to democratic government. It is estimated that the United States provided nearly $50 million dollars in official aid for 2009 (prior to the suspension). These funds were administered through American and local non-governmental organizations for food security, health, and communication/media outreach programs. Peace Corps arrived in Niger in 1962and has continued without interruption for the past 48 years. The size of the program recently declined from an average of 125 Peace Corps volunteers to 77 volunteers. This decrease was in response to safety concerns for volunteers stemming from increased Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) activity in the sub-region.

Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--Bisa Williams
Deputy Chief of Mission/Chargé d'Affaires--Lucy K. Abbott
Defense Attache--Lt. Col. Neil Clough
Management Officer--Sonja Rix
Economic/Commercial/Consular Officer--Raphael Sambou
Public Affairs Officer--Robert Tate
Political Officer--Samuel Worland-Esquith
Peace Corps Director--Valerie Staats
USAID Country Program Manager--Bill Noble

The U.S. Embassy in Niger is located on the Avenue des Ambassades. The embassy telephone numbers are (227) 20-72-26-61/62/63/64/ 65, and the fax number is (227) 20-73-31-67. The mailing address is B.P. 11201, Niamey, Niger.



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