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Burkina Faso

Executive Summary

On January 24, 2022, the Burkinabé military officers deposed the democratically-elected government of former President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, dissolved the government and national assembly, and suspended the constitution. The coup leader Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba assumed the role of president of Burkina Faso’s Transition Government. In February 2022, a transitional charter was signed by Transition President LTC Damiba laying out a three-year transition period before democratic elections could be held. Since then, a Transitional government and a Transition Legislative Assembly have been installed.

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country and the world’s seventh poorest country according to the 2020 UN Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Index, ranked at 182 out of 189 countries. Burkina Faso has an estimated population of 22 million inhabitants (as of June 2022) according to the United Nations, and the IMF estimates its growth domestic product (GDP) at US$ 19.62 billion. Burkina Faso’s economy rebounded in 2021 and grew at an estimated 8.5 percent, attributable to increases in gold exports and the services sector, according to the World Bank. The economy is forecasted to grow at 5.6 percent in 2022. The fiscal deficit stood at 5.5 percent of GDP in 2022, but could reach 6.6 percent of GDP in 2022 as a result of the multitude of challenges Burkina Faso faces, including security, humanitarian, food, and social, etc. Over 40 percent of the Burkinabe population live below the poverty line, and the country ranks 144th out of 157 countries in the World Bank’s Human Capital Index. Some 80 percent of the country’s population is engaged in agriculture—mostly subsistence—with only a small fraction directly involved in agribusiness. In 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Burkinabe government announced a series of socio-economic measures ranging from tax breaks to subsidies and food support to low-income families. The overall cost of the measures was estimated at US$656 million.

Overall, Burkina Faso welcomes foreign investment and actively seeks to attract foreign partners to aid in its development. It has partially put in place the legal and regulatory framework necessary to ensure that foreign investors are treated fairly, including setting up a venue for commercial disputes and streamlining the issuance of permits and company registration requirements. More progress is needed to diminish the dominance of state-owned firms in certain sectors and to enforce intellectual property protections.

Burkina Faso ranks 100th of 177 countries in the Heritage Foundation’s economic freedom report 2022 Economic Freedom Index. Among the 51 African countries in the report, Burkina Faso ranked 14th, improving its 21st position in the 2021 economic freedom report. Burkina Faso’s corruption perception score improved slightly from 40 in 2020 to 42 in 2021 and improved the country’s ranking from 86th to 78th of 180 countries.

The gold mining industry has boomed in the last decade, and the bulk of foreign investment is in the mining sector, mostly from Canadian firms. Moroccan, French and UAE companies control local subsidiaries in the telecommunications industry, while foreign investors are also active in sectors such as agriculture, transport and logistics, energy, and financial technology. There is a growing foreign investment interest in the security sector. In June 2015, a new mining code was approved to standardize contract terms and better regulate the sector. In 2018, the parliament adopted a new investment code that offers many advantages to foreign investors. This code offers a range of tax breaks and incentives to lure foreign investors, including exemptions from value-added tax (VAT) on certain equipment. Effective tax rates as a result are lower than the regional average, though the tax system is complex, and compliance can be burdensome. Opportunities for U.S. firms exist in many sectors, but including in agriculture and manufacturing

Burkina Faso remains committed to a market-based economy without barriers to trade. Over the last 15 years, the national power utility’s Société Nationale de l’Eléctricité du Burkina (SONABEL) customer base and energy demand ballooned. Between 2015 and 2021, SONABEL customer base grew by 64%. However, supply can only meet the demand in non-peak periods. Burkina Faso imports nearly 70 percent of its electricity from neighboring Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire and faces electricity reliability and affordability challenges. It also imports other energy products such as gasoline and gas through a network of foreign companies to meet local demand. the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) suspended the US$ 500 million compact with the Government of Burkina Faso. The Compact aimed to unlock economic growth by strengthening electricity sector effectiveness, energy reliability cost-effectiveness, and grid development and access, creating a more favorable investment environment for firms in the energy sector and the wider economy and spurring further foreign direct investment in Burkina Faso.

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2021 78 of 180 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index – Explore the… – Transparency.org
Global Innovation Index 2020 115 of 132 https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) 2020 NA https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/
World Bank GNI per capita 2020 $770 GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$) | Data (worldbank.org)

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

3. Legal Regime

4. Industrial Policies

5. Protection of Property Rights

6. Financial Sector

7. State-Owned Enterprises

8. Responsible Business Conduct

There is a general awareness of corporate social responsibility among both producers and consumers. The GoBF requires mining companies to invest in social infrastructure, such as health centers and schools, and other projects to benefit the local populations in the areas of their mining operations. To this end, the 2015 mining code stipulated the establishment of the Mining Fund for Local Development (FMDL). FMDL is a mechanism to decentralize national resources wealth. To fund the FMDL, the GOBF contributes 20% of the royalties it collects and the mining firms contribute about 1% of their gross revenues. FMDL entered into force in 2019 and has since distributed about US$ 129 million to 351 communes nationwide. A common practice for many companies is to provide food supplies, typically rice or millet, to their workers often at the end of the year. Larger private businesses, such as civil engineering firms, sponsor sport events like the Tour du Faso and donate sporting equipment to disadvantaged communities. SOEs such as SONABHY and LONAB frequently undertake social projects.

Burkina Faso is a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) since 2008. EITI declares Burkina Faso as a compliant country, recognizing the country’s “significant progress in the implementation of the 2016 EITI Standard, with considerable improvements,” including satisfactory scores on five of the six corrective measures assessed.

9. Corruption

Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index indicates that Burkina Faso ranks 78 out of 180 countries. Nearly 82 percent of Burkinabe believe corruption is frequent or very frequent in their country, according to a report released November 2021by the National Network for Anti-corruption Fight (REN-LAC). The percentage of people who thought corruption was frequent or very frequent (82%) has risen steadily since 2019 (76%) and 2018 (67%). The Burkinabe public also believe that the fight against corruption is going in the wrong direction. The report also ranks the most corrupt public services as perceived by the public as (1) municipal police, (2) national police, (3) customs, (4) General-Directorate for Road and Maritime Transports (DGTTM), and (5) gendarmerie. The State Supreme Audit Authority (ASCE-LC) is the leading government anti-corruption body that publishes an annual report documenting financial irregularities, embezzlement, and improper use of public funds in various ministries, government agencies, and state-run companies. In 2018, the ASCE-LC opened at least two high profile corruption investigations against the Ministers of Defense and Infrastructure. The minister of defense was jailed under corruption charges and provisionally released due to health conditions. The Burkinabe government continues to grant access within its own ministries to the non-governmental watchdog REN-LAC, which examines the management of private and public-sector entities and publishes annual reports on corruption levels within the country.

Legislation requires government officials, including the president, lawmakers, ministers, ambassadors, members of the military leadership, judges, and anyone charged with managing state funds, to declare their assets as well as any gifts or donations received while in office. Infractions are punishable by a maximum jail term of 20 years and fines of up to USD 41,670. In May 2020, former Minister of Defense, Jean-Claude Bouda, was arrested on “money laundering” and “illicit enrichment” charges following a complaint by the National Anti-Corruption Network. In June 2021, State Prosecutor Harouna Yoda announced that the Deputy Director General of Customs, William Alassane Kaboré, was placed under “judicial control,” for acts of illicit enrichment and money laundering amounting to 1.3 billion CFA (USD 2.2 million). Additionally, investigations are underway on the mayor of Ouagadougou and some magistrates who allegedly tried to bury this case.

One of the main governmental bodies for fighting official corruption is the Superior Authority of State Control (ASCE), an entity under the authority of the Prime Minister. ASCE has the authority to investigate ethics violations and mismanagement of public funds in the public sector, including civil service employees, local and public authorities, state-owned companies, and all national organizations involved with public service missions. ASCE publishes an annual report of activities, which provides details on its investigations and issues recommendations on how to resolve them. Many of its findings are followed by judicial action.

The Cour des Comptes (Court of Audit) is another institution that participates in the control of the execution of the annual budget. It draws up an annual report on the execution of the annual budget. Every year, it produces a public report, including the observations of all its audits, which is submitted to the President of Burkina Faso. It also draws up a general report for the President of Faso on the activity, management, and results of the companies it audits on a bi-annual basis.

The Autorité de Régulation de la Commande Publique (ARCOP), established in July 2008, is the regulatory oversight body that ensures fairness in the procurement process by monitoring the execution of all government contracts. ARCOP may impose sanctions, initiate lawsuits, and publish the names of fraudulent or delinquent businesses. It also educates communities benefiting from public investment monies to take a more active part in monitoring contractors. ARCOP works with the media to strengthen journalists’ capacity to investigate suspected fraud cases. Since 2012, the media has noticeably increased its coverage of high-profile corruption cases.

The Reseau National de Lutte Contre la Corruption (REN-LAC)’s annual state of corruption report has led to a wide range of anti-corruption initiatives and tools. REN-LAC has a 24-hour hotline that allows it to gather information on alleged corrupt practices anonymously reported by citizens. African Parliamentarians’ Network against Corruption also has a local chapter in Burkina Faso and cooperates with REN-LAC. To put an end to tax fraud, the government passed into law Article 17 of the November 21, 2013, Law No. 037-2013/AN of the 2014 Budget Law, which called for standardized invoices (Facture Normalisée) in commercial transactions. The Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce will help facilitate its implementations. This provision however only became operational in early 2022.

As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Burkina Faso has agreed to enforce a regional law against money laundering and has issued a national law against money laundering and financial crimes.

Burkina Faso has taken steps to fully adopt regional and international anti-corruption frameworks, and the country ratified the UN Convention against Corruption in October 2006.

According to World Bank rating for control of corruption, Burkina Faso has improved steadily since 2013 and currently ranks above the regional average.

10. Political and Security Environment

Rampant insecurity and the government’s inability to stem violent extremism contributed to the military overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré on January 24, 2022. In 2021, Burkina Faso recorded the highest number of attacks during its five-plus year battle with violent extremism. The result has led to a crisis resulting in the closure of schools and the massive displacement of people from their homes and communities. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore had been reelected to a second and final term in November 2020. This was the first time a democratic handover of power occurred in Burkina Faso’s history since it gained independence in 1960. During the same period legislative elections were organized and results were accepted by all political parties.

However, Violent extremists remain very active in Burkina Faso. Both the Islamic State for the Greater Sahara and the Jama’ at Nasr Al Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) coalition have expanded their operation footprints in recent years. Security incidents include violence using tactics such as, improvised explosive devices, kidnapping, attacks, and targeted killings in an expanding part of the country in the north, east, and south. Targets appeared to shift from military and gendarmerie units to civilians and volunteer defense groups. In May 2022, VEOs carried out 61 attacks against civilians and security forces, killing a total of 173 people and injuring 40 others, The number of terrorist incidents in Burkina Faso’s southwestern Boucle du Mouhoun region rose significantly in May compared to the numbers reported for the three previous months. Since October 2021, over 799 people died in terrorist incidents, and an additional 600 individuals sustained injuries during the same period. On June 4, 2021, VEOs killed 160 civilians in Solhan in the Sahel region near the border with Niger. This was the second deadliest terrorist attack globally in 2021, according to the 2022 Global Terrorism Index. The report also indicates that 732 people died from terrorist incidents in Burkina Faso in 2021. The African Center for Strategic Studies noted in its July 2021 report that most violent attacks in the Sahel in 2020 were carried out in Burkina Faso (516 versus 361 in Mali and 118 in Niger).

In April 2022, a U.S. citizen was reportedly abducted in Burkina’s Centre-Nord,. In 2018, an American citizen was abducted but was later discovered by French operatives during an unrelated mission to recover French nationals abducted by extremists. Three Europeans – two Spanish and one Irish – were killed in an attack on an anti-poaching patrol in eastern Burkina Faso on April 27, 2021. In 2021, attacks spiked in the southern part of Burkina Faso, contiguous to the north of Cote d’Ivoire. The Cascades region border area, which has suffered several attacks in the past, is seen by experts as a hide-out for armed terrorist groups and a threat for coastal countries. As of April 2022, terrorist attacks have generated around 1.9 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) mostly in Burkina Faso’s Sahel, Centre-Nord, Nord, and Est regions. Since 2018, the Government of Burkina Faso has maintained a state of emergency due to insecurity in many parts of the country

As of May 2022, the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory to Burkina Faso is at Level 4: Do Not Travel due to terrorism, crime, and kidnapping.

11. Labor Policies and Practices

Burkinabe workers have a reputation as hardworking and dedicated employees. While unskilled labor is abundantly available in Burkina Faso, skilled labor resources are limited. There is a scarcity of skilled workers, mainly in management, engineering, and the electrical trades. Construction, civil engineering, mining, and manufacturing industries employ the majority of the formal labor force. Burkinabe law allows workers, except for essential workers such as magistrates, police, military, and other security personnel, to form and join independent unions of their choice without previous authorization, and to bargain collectively. The law provides for the right to strike, but also limits this right with pre-strike requirements or restrictions (including notice submission and government’s requisition power to secure minimum service in essential services).

Public servants are also entitled to engage in bargaining. In recent years, a series of public sector unions have gone on strike to demand better living and working conditions. However, increasing labor demands across multiple ministries have begun to put stress on an already strained public finance system, and have affected the tax collection processes. Although President Kabore has announced the intention to present a comprehensive labor deal (as opposed to the piecemeal settlement of strikes in different sectors that has been the case until now), it is not clear that any progress is being made on this front. The Minister of Public Service has decided to establish for civil servants.

It is the GoBF’s policy to increase employment opportunities for Burkinabe workers. Therefore, in professions where there are too many registered and unemployed Burkinabe, a job-seeker card will not be issued to non-nationals. When non-nationals are hired, the Director of Labor authorizes their employment contract. According to the 1967 decree, statements must be made to the Regional Inspector of Work and Social Rules before the start-up of any new enterprise.

Burkina Faso has undertaken reforms of labor policy to make the labor market more flexible while ensuring workers’ rights, including workers’ safety and health. To promote local employment, the government has established several financing instruments targeted at firms interested in obtaining start-up monies. These instruments include Fonds National d’Appui à la Promotion de l’Emploi – FONAPE (Employment Promotion Support Fund), Fonds d’Appui au Secteur Informel – FASI (Informal Sector Support Fund), Fonds d’Appui aux Activités Génératrices de Revenus des Femmes – FAARF (Women’s Income Generating Activities Support Fund), Fonds d’Appui aux Initiatives des Jeunes – FAIJ (Youth Initiative Support Fund), and Fonds Burkinabe de Développement Economique et Social – FBDES (Burkinabe Fund for Social and Economic Development).

In the event of a reduction in personnel, the labor code requires the employer to first dismiss employees with the least training and seniority. The employer must advise employees of termination at least 30 days in advance. Workers terminated in a general workforce reduction have re-employment priority over other applicants for a two-year period. Employees terminated for reasons other than theft or flagrant neglect of duty have the right to termination benefits. In Burkina Faso, however, the informal sector is an important sector of the economy. A sizable part of the Burkinabe population earns a living in the informal economy, especially in agriculture and artisanal mining sectors. For instance, artisanal mining alone is estimated to employ one million to 1.3 million people directly. The value of gold extracted annually through artisanal mining is estimated at about US$1 billion, or about 20 tons of gold. However, they noted that much of Burkina Faso’s artisanal mining output is smuggled out through neighboring countries without royalties or tax revenue going to the state budget. In some regions of the country, over 90 percent of youth earn a living through artisanal mining, with some abandoning agriculture for the lure of gold mining. Nevertheless, there are no indications that the informal economy negatively impacts or crowds out investment across industries.

To date, Burkina Faso has approved and ratified 43 conventions of the International Labor Organization, including conventions on Freedom of Association and the Right to Organize, Abolition of Forced Labor, and the Worst Forms of Child Labor. The Ministry of Civil Service, Labor, and Social Security and a labor court enforce the labor code. Unions are well organized, independent from the government, and defend employee interests in industrial disputes. Workers know their rights and do not hesitate to seek redress of grievances.

Despite the government’s substantial efforts to reduce child labor in the past few years, 42 percent of children in Burkina Faso continue to engage in child labor, particularly in agriculture. The worst forms of child labor take place in mining. Cotton and gold are included on the U.S. government’s Executive Order 13126 List of Goods Produced by Forced and Indentured Child Labor.

The 1982 Commercial Sector Collective Agreement divides employees (laborers, artisans, and senior staff) into eight categories with minimum basic pay rates from 25,000 FCFA (about USD 45) per month. Conditions for the employment of workers by enterprises are provided in Decree no. 98 of 1967. An employer should ask job candidates for their job-seeker registration card issued by the Office of Employment Promotion, which is part of the Ministry of Civil Service, Labor, and Social Security.

13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy
Host Country Statistical source USG or international statistical source USG or International Source of Data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
Economic Data Year Amount Year Amount
Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD) N/A N/A 2021 $19.2 Billion https://www.imf.org/en/Countries/BFA#countrydata
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A N/A N/A BEA data available at https://www.bea.gov/international/direct-investment-and-multinational-enterprises-comprehensive-data
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A N/A N/A BEA data available at https://www.bea.gov/international/direct-investment-and-multinational-enterprises-comprehensive-data
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP N/A N/A 2021 0.03% UNCTAD data available at

https://unctad.org/en/Pages/DIAE/World%20Investment%20Report/Country-Fact-Sheets.aspx  

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI
Data not available.

14. Contact for More Information

Renaud Hien
Economic and Commercial Specialist
U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou
Secteur 15, Ouaga 2000
Avenue Sembene Ousmane, Rue 15.873
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
+226 25 49 53 00
HienRM@state.gov 

Chad

Executive Summary

Chad is Africa’s fifth largest country by surface area, encompassing three bioclimatic zones. Chad is landlocked, bordering Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, Central African Republic (CAR) to the south, and Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger to the west (with which it shares Lake Chad). The nearest port — Douala, Cameroon — is 1,700 km from the capital, N’Djamena. Chad is one of six countries that constitute the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), a common market. Chad’s human development is one of the lowest in the world according to the UN Human Development Index (HDI). Poverty afflicts a large proportion of the population.

The Government of Chad (GOC) actively solicits foreign investment, especially from North America. Opportunities for foreign investment exist in Agribusiness; Agricultural, Construction, Building & Heavy Equipment; Automotive & Ground Transportation; Education; Energy & Mining; Environmental Technologies; Food Processing & Packaging; Health Technologies; Information Technology; Industrial Equipment & Supplies; Information & Communication; and Services. Since oil production began in 2003, the petroleum sector has dominated economic activity and been the largest target of foreign investment, including from U.S. companies. Agriculture and livestock breeding are also important economic activities, employing most of the population. In recent years, the GOC has prioritized agriculture, solar energy production, gold mining, livestock breeding and processing, and information technology to diversify the economy and lessen fiscal dependence on volatile global energy markets.

Chad’s investment climate is challenging. Private sector development suffers from a lack of transport infrastructure, GDP growth, skilled labor, reliable electricity, adequate contract enforcement, good governance, and attractive tax rates. Frequent border closures with neighboring countries complicate trade. The COVID-19 pandemic, and associated restrictions, halted Chad’s modest 2019 economic recovery following several years of recession caused by low global oil prices and disruptive debt payments to Glencore. Overall vaccination rates remain low. Existing IMF and World Bank programs aim to improve governance, increase transparency, and reduce internal arrears. Private sector financing is limited, and low GDP growth constrains government investment. Corruption and historically frequent replacement of senior level government figures present further roadblocks, as does cumbersome French-based labor law. The GOC’s interest in maintaining a stake in investment projects, while facilitating access to key decision makers, also introduces financial and operational risks.

Despite these challenges, the success of several foreign investments into Chad illustrates opportunities for experienced, dedicated, and patient investors. Successful investors typically operate with trusted local partners. The oil sector will mark 20 years of operations in 2023. Singapore-based Olam International entered Chad’s cotton market in 2018. Mindful of the imperative to enact reforms, the GOC operationalized a Presidential Council to Improve the Business Climate in January 2021. With rich natural resources, minimally developed agriculture and meat processing sectors, ample sunshine, increasing telecommunications coverage, and a rapidly growing population, Chad presents an opportunity for targeted investment in key sectors.

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 164 of 180 http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview
Global Innovation Index 2021 N/A https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) N/A N/A https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/
World Bank GNI per capita 2020 $630 https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

3. Legal Regime

4. Industrial Policies

5. Protection of Property Rights

Real Property

The Chadian Civil Code protects property rights. Since 2013, landowners may register land titles with the One-Stop Land Titling Office (Guichet Unique pour les Affaires Foncieres). However, enforcement of these rights is difficult because most landowners do not have a title or a deed for their property. In 2022, an effort by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to advise the government on a more systematic framework to approach property issues marked the first major effort in many years to address property rights conflicts.

The office of Domain and Registration (Direction de Domaine et Enregistrement) in the Ministry of Finance and Budget is responsible for recording property deeds and mortgages. In practice, this office asserts authority only in urban areas; rural property titles are managed by traditional leaders who apply customary law. Chadian courts frequently deal with cases of multiple or conflicting titles to the same property. A significant portion of the legal system’s bandwidth is involved in ongoing land disputes. In cases of multiple titles, the earliest title issued usually has precedence. Fraud is common in property transactions. By law, all land for which no title exists is owned by the government and can only be given to a separate entity by presidential decree. There have been incidents in which the government has reclaimed land for which individuals held titles, which government officials then granted to other individuals without the backing of presidential decrees.

The GOC does not provide clear definitions and protections of traditional use rights of indigenous peoples, tribes, or farmers.

6. Financial Sector

7. State-Owned Enterprises

All Chadian SOEs operate under the umbrella of government ministries. SOE senior management reports to the minister responsible for the relevant sector, as well as a board of directors and an executive board. Historically, the president appointed members of SOE boards of directors, executive boards, and CEOs though no new appointments have happened since the April 2021 establishment of the Transitional Military Council. The boards of directors give general directives over the year, while the executive boards manage general guidelines set by the boards of directors. Some executive directors consult with their respective ministries before making business decisions.

The GOC operates SOEs in several sectors, including Energy and Environmental Industries; Agribusiness; Construction, Building and Heavy Equipment; and Information and Communication. The percentage of their annual budget that SOEs allocate to research and development (R&D) is unpublished.

There were no reports of discriminatory action taken by SOEs against the interests of foreign investors in 2021. Some foreign companies operated in direct competition with SOEs. Chad’s Public Tender Code (PTC) provides preferential treatment for domestic competitors, including SOEs.

SOEs are not subject to the same tax burden and tax rebate policies as their private sector competitors and are often afforded material advantages such as preferential access to land and raw materials. SOEs receive government subsidies under the national budget, which the government does not publish. SOEs often comingle government and SOE funds, which complicates their financial picture.

Chad is not a party to the Agreement on Government Procurement within the framework of the WTO. Chadian practices are not consistent with the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance for SOEs.

(Please use DOC key words for industries in this section; list available at https://www.export.gov/industries ).

8. Responsible Business Conduct

There is a general awareness of Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) among firms in Chad. Most Western firms operating in Chad adhere to RBC, particularly those in the petroleum and telecommunications sectors. For example, Esso Exploration and Production Chad, Inc. (EEPCI), a significant oil producer, has implemented Environmental Management Plans (EMPs), prioritizing hiring local residents and local purchase of goods and services, establishing international safety standards, and protecting biodiversity. A critical part of EMP has been the Land Use Management Action Plan (LUMAP) that compensates individuals and communities for land used by the project. LUMAP has distributed approximately $1.7 million in cash, in-kind goods, and training. EMP’s efforts are complemented by the ExxonMobil Foundation, which supports projects to improve girls’ education and fight malaria.

Many foreign firms commit to extensive skill-building of local staff, purchasing local goods, and donating excess equipment to charities or local governments. Internet companies Airtel and Moov, as well as some banks, continue to engage in RBC focused on public awareness campaigns countering violent extremism and promoting social cohesion.

While work safety and environmental protection regulations exist, the government does not always enforce them, and companies do not always adhere to them. There are several local NGOs, particularly in the southern oil-producing regions, which monitor safety and environmental protection in the oil sector, and which have held government and private companies publicly accountable. EEPCI adheres to U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for recording accidents and injuries and implements a rigorous program of safety procedures and protocols.

Chad joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2010. While private security companies do operate within Chad, they typically employ unarmed guards at private residences and business premises.

Department of State

  • Country Reports on Human Rights Practices ()
  • Trafficking in Persons Report ()
  • Guidance on Implementing the “UN Guiding Principles” for Transactions Linked to Foreign Government End-Users for Products or Services with Surveillance Capabilities ()

Department of Labor

  • Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor Report ( )
  • List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor ()
  • Sweat & Toil: Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking Around the World ()
  • Comply Chain ()

9. Corruption

Foreign investors should be aware that corruption is endemic in Chad and constitutes a significant deterrent to nearly all economic activity, including foreign direct investment. Corruption is pervasive in many areas of government, including procurement, the awarding of licenses or concessions, dispute settlement, regulation enforcement, customs, and taxation.

Chad is not a signatory country of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Chad is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (“the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention”).

There is an independent Court of Auditors (Cour des Comptes), equivalent to a supreme audit institution (SAI), to enhance independent oversight of government decisions, although its members are nominated by presidential decree. Concurrently, the GOC created a General Inspectorate for State Control within the Presidency to oversee government accountability. No reports have been published, however. In addition to these bodies, prior to the April 2021 dissolution of the National Assembly, its Finance Committee had carried out verifications of the GOC’s annual financial statement though typically did not make audits publicly available. The creation of the transitional legislature’s (CNT) Commission Controle Budget Automone is currently expected to carry out a similar responsibility, though, to date, they have not published any verifications of the GOC’s annual financial statement.

A February 2000 anti-corruption law stipulates penalties for corruption. The law does not single out family members and political parties. As in many other developing countries, weak institutional capacity, a widespread and largely accepted practice of rent seeking, low salaries for most civil servants, judicial employees, and law enforcement officials, have contributed to pervasive corruption in Chad. According to Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2021 report, selective prosecutions of high-level officials were widely viewed as efforts to discredit those posing a threat to the former president or his allies. The report stated that security forces routinely stopped citizens on pretexts of minor traffic violations to extort money or confiscate goods.

To fight corruption and embezzlement, the Ministry of Finance and Budget set up a toll-free number (700), though it has not been working since 2018, after less than a full calendar year of connectivity. According to the Minister of Finance and Budget, the toll-free number 700 was designed to allow members of the public to alert the Inspectorate General of Finance to denounce any member of government who directly or indirectly solicits a bribe related their official duties, such as regarding administrative documents or tax payments. As of April 2022, the ministry confirms that they rely on postal mail for the lodging of these complaints and have no clear date for reestablishment of the compliant line. In addition to an unworking complaint line, there are no specific laws to counter conflict of interest, nor does the GOC require or encourage private companies to establish internal codes of conduct prohibiting bribery of public officials.

Local NGO Center for Studies and Research on Governance, Extractive Industries, and Sustainable Development (CERGIED), formerly GRAMP-TC (Groupe Alternatif de Recherche et de Monitoring de Petrole – Tchad), tracks government expenditures of oil revenue. There are no indications that anti-corruption laws are enforced differently for foreign investors than for Chadian citizens. There is no specific protection for NGOs involved in investigating corruption, which, to avoid repercussions, results in self-censorship of complaints about corrupt officials.

10. Political and Security Environment

Chad enjoyed relative political stability from 2010 to April 2021, when armed groups entered from Libya and engaged in armed hostilities with Chadian government forces following the government’s announcement of former President Idriss Déby having won a sixth term. During this incursion, Deby, who had ruled the country since 1990, was killed. A group of 15 generals called the Transitional Military Council, with former President Deby’s son Mahamat Deby at the head, dissolved Chad’s constitution and legislative National Assembly in favor of a constitutional charter and interim legislature (Transitional National Council, CNT) based on an 18-month mandate. During these 18 months, set to end in October 2022, the government plans to hold a National Dialogue in May on a range of social, economic, political, and security issues pertinent to the country to inform the drafting of a new constitution to be adopted by referendum a possible pre-election census, and parliamentary and presidential elections to return to civilian-led government. Following the creation of the transitional government, Chad has entered a period of tenuous peace as the government engages in negotiations with armed political groups over their possible terms for participation in the May National Dialogue as well as disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) into Chadian society. Cross-border intercommunal violence near neighboring Darfur threatens to hamstring the prospect of a lasting peace, as do widespread frustrations over poor socio-economic conditions and impunity for excessive use of force by government security forces.

Prior to July 2021, the government typically denied permits for demonstrations or suppressed them using tear gas while arresting participants and organizers. Since then, the transitional government has allowed limited protests in N’Djamena while insisting on rigid adherence to pre-approved routes with occasional use of tear gas to disperse protestors. On the other hand, state security forces outside N’Djamena repressed public demonstrations, including live ammunition that resulted in fatalities, to quell political dissent. In December 2021, in northern Chad’s city of Faya, government forces used live ammunition to disperse protestors frustrated with changes in customs procedures, reportedly resulting in one fatality. In January, in the eastern city of Abeche, government security forces violently confronted protestors frustrated with appointment of traditional official, leaving a reported 14 dead and 64 wounded. There were no reports of politically motivated damage to investment projects and/or installations in recent years, including during incursions by armed groups into Chad in 2008 and 2021.

While Chad, which depends on oil for nearly 80 percent of its export revenues, has faced the stresses of an extended period of reduced oil revenues, recent increases in oil prices have begun to alleviate this issue. The COVID-19 pandemic, despite a low estimated incidence rate in Chad, strains Chad’s limited medical infrastructure, disrupts trade routes with neighboring countries, and complicates international air travel.

Regional violent extremist organizations threaten regional stability and foreign investments along the Lake Chad Basin and. Armed non-governmental groups operate along the Libyan border in northern Chad. Violent attacks by Boko Haram have choked off vital trade routes with Nigeria and the road between N’Djamena and Douala, Cameroon, the principal port serving Chad. This has increased costs for imports and decreased exports.

U.S. businesses and organizations in Chad are welcome to inquire at the Embassy about joining the Overseas Security Advisory Committee (OSAC).

For up-to-date information on political and security conditions in Chad, please refer to the Consular Affairs Bureau’s Travel Warning and Country Specific Information at http://www.travel.state.gov. The Embassy encourages all U.S. Citizens in Chad to enroll online with the Smart Traveler Enrollment (STEP) program or with the Embassy upon arrival to receive the latest safety and security updates via email.

11. Labor Policies and Practices

Chad’s population demonstrates a significant youth bulge, leading to widespread youth unemployment.

While some government ministries and SOEs provide job-related training to their employees, Chad has a shortage of skilled labor in most sectors and, at best, a nascent pipeline of human resource development to address this need. Local universities produce a surplus of graduates able to fill entry-level management and administrative positions though jobs in Chad’s anemic formal sector remain scarce. Skilled workers even more rare. Thus, given rampant unemployment and underemployment, approximately 80 percent of the Chadian labor force survive in the informal sector, despite the economic output of these primarily subsistence activities of farming, herding, and fishing accounting for only roughly 35 percent of GDP.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) reports that Chad has managed, compared to its average share of non-agricultural informal economy employment average from 1990-1999, to reduce this average by nearly five percentage points compared to the 2010-2014 period.

As a result, unskilled and day laborers are readily available and motivated, but frequently uneducated; Chad’s literacy rate is approximately 22 percent. While few Chadians speak English, translators and interpreters are available. Chad has never been an attractive destination for regular labor migration given widespread poverty, poor infrastructure, and a weak economy, though northeastern gold mines have reportedly drawn some migrant workers, often en route to Libya or Europe from the Horn of Africa region.

Significant gender inequality exists in Chad, as social norms have historically limited most women to the home and early marriages are common. Access to modern family planning methods is scant, which contributes to a leaky pipeline of women into the workforce as expectations of child-rearing tasks following unplanned pregnancies often impel their exit from the labor force. This results in approximately 50 percent of women participating in Chad’s workforce in some way, compared to approximately 75 percent of men. The government has recognized this as an issue, and taken some minor steps to address it, such as mandating 30 percent women for the transitional government’s interim legislature (CNT).

Same-sex activity became illegal in Chad via a March 2017 update to its penal code #2017-01, whose. Article 354 stipulated penalties of three months to two years in prison plus 50,000 to 500,000 CFA. The lack of social protections and widespread homophobia result in widespread self-censorship of full expression of identity by underrepresented workers, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) individuals. As a result, little data exists regarding their participation in the labor market. More broadly, given entrenched patronage networks and their obstruction of the development of a meritocratic, rather than a connections- or ethnic-based system of hiring, individuals not connected to the Zaghawa group of former president Deby are underrepresented in government and military positions, especially at senior levels.

Child labor remains a problem. Children were involved in the following sectors: street begging in urban centers, street work as hawkers and porters, carpentry, vehicle garages, gold mining in the north of the country, service industries such as waiters/waitresses, and as domestic workers. Child labor is common in the agriculture sector. Children are also involved in cattle-herding and charcoal production. In some regions, children are involved in catching, smoking, and selling fish. Chadian cattle are included on the U.S. Government’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.

Chad has ratified all eight Fundamental Conventions of the International Labor Organization. International labor rights such as freedom of association, the elimination of forced labor, child labor, employment discrimination, minimum wage, occupational safety and health, and weekly work hours are recognized within the labor code. However, significant gaps remain in law and practice. Chadian labor law derives from French law and tends to provide strong protection for Chadian workers; priority is given to Chadian nationals; foreign investors cite these provisions as unproductive and wearisome, especially for termination of underperforming employees. Labor unions operate independently from the government and, in fact, often challenge the government. The two main labor federations, the Confederation Libre des Travailleurs du Tchad (CLTT) and the Union des Syndicats du Tchad (UST), to which most individual unions belong, are the most influential.

The labor court is the labor dispute mechanism in Chad. In case of a dispute, the aggrieved party contacts a labor inspector directly or through the labor union to settle the dispute or lodge a complaint with the labor court.

Labor unions practice collective bargaining, and the labor code monitors labor abuses, health, and safety standards in low-wage assembly operations. The enforcement of the code is not effectively conducted; most disputes are based on contract termination. The GOC did not pass any new labor laws in 2021.

The GOC may provide incentives for foreign businesses but does not waive laws to attract or retain investment. Companies report constant frustration with ambiguous and archaic French-based labor law and its outsized worker-based provisions making any reductions in their workforce extremely difficult and often quite expensive, even following in cases of well-documented flagrant misconduct or criminality, to say nothing of employers merely adjusting employment to respond to fluctuating market conditions. Companies are often forced to settle frivolous lawsuits out of pocket sometimes based, in part, on pressure by corrupt judicial officials looking to exploit legal technicalities for personal gain. The law mandates severance packages for all employees whose employment ends, and larger packages for those who are laid off for reasons out of their control than for those fired for cause. No unemployment insurance or other social safety net programs exist, nor has the public received notice about discussions having happened regarding the possible implementation in the future of such programs.

Beginning in summer, the national teacher’s union went on strike, demanding unpaid compensation and calling for an improved learning environment at different universities throughout the country, including the southern city of Moundou, the eastern city of Abeche, and in N’Djamena. They also called for payment of salaries, bonuses, and overtime arrears.

Throughout the latter half of 2021, workers at ExxonMobil’s Doba oilfield participated in a labor strike after the company announced it was in talks with Savannah Energy to sell its interests in the project. The workers demanded pre-sale compensation and their strike caused ExxonMobil to temporarily decrease production. ExxonMobil actively engaged in discussions with the workers and the government to resolve the dispute, which lasted for months.

14. Contact for More Information

Economic and Commercial Officer
U.S. Embassy N’Djamena
Rondpoint Chagoua BP 413
N’Djamena Chad
+235 2251-5017 Ext 24408 and 24289
NDjamena-Commercial@state.gov 

Mali

Executive Summary Title

Despite enthusiasm for U.S. investment, there are significant obstacles to investing in Mali, including political instability, economic sanctions, allegations of corruption, poor infrastructure, and ongoing insecurity throughout the country. Mali remains under transition government rule after a coup d’etat in August 2020, followed by a further consolidation of military power in May 2021. The U.S. Department of State maintains a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” travel advisory for Mali due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping. Continued insecurity throughout Mali is exacerbated by the minimal presence of the state in many areas and has permitted terrorist groups to conduct attacks against Western targets and Malian security forces. Intercommunal violence stemming from conflict between livestock herders and crop farmers in central Mali further contributes to instability.

Mali depends on bilateral donors and multilateral financial institutions, including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and African Development Bank, to fund major development projects, particularly in health, infrastructure, education, and agriculture. Mali received significant financial support in 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic and to support post-pandemic economic recovery. Since then, however, donors such as Denmark and France have partially or fully interrupted their development support to Mali, intensifying the financing needs.

The COVID-19 crisis interrupted a five-year period of consistent growth. As a result, Mali’s growth in 2020 reached only two percent against an initial projection of five percent. The transition government took measures to support households and businesses amid this economic slowdown, further increasing its fiscal deficit, which reached 6.2 percent of GDP in 2020, against an initial projection of 3.5 percent. In March 2021, the IMF projected GDP growth of six percent for Mali, as well as average inflation of two percent. Mali was relying on these positive projections to reduce its budget deficit to 4.5 percent of GDP, down from 5.5 percent a year ago. These projected figures will likely be significantly affected by the ECOWAS and WAEMU sanctions in force during the first half of 2022.

Business contacts report both Malian and foreign businesses face corruption in procurement, customs procedures, tax payment, and land administration, although the transition government has committed to undertaking reform, including through improved public financial management practices and increased tax revenues. Efforts to strengthen revenue collection agencies, particularly customs, are ongoing following significant revenue shortfalls in 2018 that the IMF attributed to corruption, weak taxpayer compliance, and fraud. Malian businesses generally view U.S. products favorably and openly search for new partnerships with U.S. firms, particularly in infrastructure, energy, mining, and agriculture.

Investors may consult the website of Mali’s Investment Promotion Agency (API-Mali)

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2021 136 of 180 http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview
Global Innovation Index 2021 124 of 132 https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) 2020 USD 0* https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/
World Bank GNI per capita 2020 USD 830 https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

* A nonzero value that rounds to zero.

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

3. Legal Regime

4. Industrial Policies

5. Protection of Property Rights

6. Financial Sector

7. State-Owned Enterprises

Mali has privatized or reduced government involvement in many state-owned enterprises (SOEs). However, there are still 45 state-owned or partially state-owned companies in Mali, including 12 mining companies, five banks, the national electricity company EDM, the telecommunications entity SOTELMA, the cotton ginning company CMDT, as well as cigarette company (Société nationale de tabac et allumettes du Mali or SONATAM), sugar companies Sukala and N-Sukala, and the Airports of Mali. The government no longer has shares in two banks, Banque Sahelo-Saharienne pour l’Investissement et le Commerce (BSIC-Mali), and Coris Bank International-Mali, in which it had respectively 25 and 10 percent shares as of December 2017. The government reduced its shares in the Malian Development Bank (BDM) and Malian Solidarity Bank (BMS) while it maintained its share in the Banque Nationale de Developpement Agricole (BNDA), which increased its total capital stock by 21.5 percent in 2019 compared with 2018.

Private and public enterprises compete under the same terms and conditions. No preferential treatment is given to SOEs, although they can be at a competitive disadvantage due to limited flexibility in their management decision-making process. Malian law guarantees equal treatment for financing, land access, tax burden, tax rebate, and access to raw materials for private firms and SOEs.

The government is active in the agricultural sector. The parastatal Niger River Authority (Office du Niger) controls much of the irrigated rice fields and vegetable production in the Niger River inland delta, although some private operators have been granted plots of land to develop. The Office du Niger encourages both national and foreign private investment to develop the farmlands it manages. Under a Millennium Challenge Corporation-funded irrigation project, Mali granted titles to small private farmers; an adjacent tranche developed with MCC was to have been open to large-scale private investment through a public tender process. However, all MCC projects were suspended as a result of the coup d’état of March 2012 and discontinued when the projects reached the end of their implementation deadline. The national cotton production company, CMDT, which is yet to be privatized, provides financing for fertilizers and inputs to cotton farmers, sets cotton prices, purchases cotton from producers, and exports cotton fiber via ports in neighboring countries. The agricultural sector, including cotton growing, is subject to erratic rainfalls.

The government also remains active in the banking sector. The state owns shares in five of the 14 banks in Mali: BDM (19.5 percent share), Banque Internationale pour le Mali (BIM) (10.5 percent), BNDA (36.5 percent), BMS (13.8 percent), and Banque Commerciale du Sahel (BCS) (3.3 percent). While the government no longer has a majority stake in BDM, it has significant influence over its management, including the privilege to appoint the head of the Board of Directors.

Senior transition government officials from different ministries make up the boards of SOEs. Major procurement decisions or equity raising decisions are referred to the Council of Ministers. Government powers remain in the hands of ministries or government agencies reporting to the ministries. No SOE has delegated powers from the government.

SOEs are required by law to publish an annual report. They hold a mandatory annual board of directors meeting to discuss financial statements prepared by a certified accountant and certified by an outside auditor in accordance with domestic standards (which are comparable to international financial reporting standards). Mali’s independent Auditor General conducts an annual review of public spending, which may result in the prosecution of cases of corruption. Audits of several state-owned mining companies have revealed significant irregularities.

8. Responsible Business Conduct

There is no general awareness or defined standard of responsible business conduct in Mali among producers or consumers. Despite the creation of the Malian Agency for Normalization and Quality Promotion (Agence Malienne de Normalisation et de Promotion de la Qualité or AMANORM) and the National Agency for the Sanitary Security of Foods (Agence Nationale pour la Securité Sanitaire des Aliments or ANSSA), some report Mali continues to produce, import, and export dangerous products and products of poor quality. Allegations of violations of hygiene and quality standards are common in the food-processing industry and investors have reported there is no general awareness about the dangers of unsafe and toxic chemical products in food production.

Labor rights are not generally respected given Mali’s large and unregulated informal sector. Even formal businesses often hire workers informally, such that employees do not always receive social security, retirement, or other related benefits. Mali has various laws intended to prevent child and forced labor, as well as business practices harmful to the environment and local communities. Despite these laws, there are frequent reported cases of child labor and forced labor in the mining, agricultural, service, and industrial sectors. The mining code requires owners of mining and exploitation permits to present local development plans to mitigate the health, security, hygiene, environment, and cultural heritage impacts of their mining activities. Conflicts between local artisanal mining communities and foreign mining companies over land ownership rights are frequent. Local communities have voiced concern with the significant environmental impacts of mining, including from dredging, as well as the lack of government efforts to restore and rehabilitate the environment after mine closures. Foreign mining and oil exploration companies sometimes provide schools and health clinics to communities in proximity of their activities as a form of corporate social responsibility. These activities are not done in accordance with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises but are rather the result of individual negotiations between the company and the leaders of neighboring communities.

Mali is an active member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and since 2011 has been designated as a “compliant country.” The latest EITI decision available at https://eiti.org/board-decision/2019-47  notes Mali made “meaningful progress with considerable improvements in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard.”

Acute insecurity and intercommunal violence in the northern and central regions as well as episodic terrorist attacks in the southern regions have contributed to the development of the private security sector, which proposes services to the government, local companies, foreign governments and companies, and international organizations. The deployment of Russia-backed private military company Wagner Group in Mali has raised concerns from the international community and the U.S. government that the group may further destabilize Mali’s territory. Mali is not a signatory to the Montreux Document on Private Military and Security Companies, nor of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers’ Association (ICoCA).

9. Corruption

Many companies claim corruption is the most significant obstacle to foreign investment and economic development in Mali. While corruption is a crime punishable under the penal code, bribery is frequently reported in many large contracts and investment projects. Some investors report government officials often solicit bribes to complete otherwise routine procedures. The transition government has pledged to prioritize anti-corruption efforts. In 2021, Transparency International’s global corruption ranking for Mali decreased to 136th of 180 ranked countries (from 129th of 180 in 2020). Mali’s perceived public corruption score from Transparency International was 29 out of 100 in 2020 (with 0 being “highly corrupt” and 100 being “very clean”). Relative to other developing countries, Mali was rated at the 67th percentile for control of corruption on the FY2020 MCC Scorecard (based on World Bank and Brookings Worldwide Governance Indicators reports).

Corruption is reportedly common in government procurement and dispute settlement. The government has addressed this issue by requiring procurement contracts to be inspected by the Directorate General for Public Procurement with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which determines whether the procedure meets fairness, price competitiveness, and quality standards. However, there are allegations of significant political interference in procurement. In addition, both foreign and domestic companies complain about harassment and requests for bribes from officials involved in tax collection. Mali’s international donor community has been working with the government to reduce corruption.

Investors have found the judicial sector to be neither independent nor transparent. Questionable judgments in commercial cases have occasionally been successfully overturned at the supreme court. However, there is a general perception among the populace that while prosecution of minor economic crimes is routine, official corruption, particularly at the higher levels, goes largely unpunished.

In 2004, then-president of Mali Amadou Toumani Touré created the Office of the Auditor General (BVG) as an independent agency tasked with auditing public spending. Since its inception, the BVG has uncovered several significant cases of corruption, including in the customs directorate. However, few findings of corruption have resulted in prosecutions.

Growing pressure from international donors for more transparency in public resource management led to changing the appointment process for directors of finance and equipment across many ministries. As a result, in March 2017, the Minister of Economy and Finances dismissed 15 Directors of Finance and Equipment. Eighteen others were moved to other ministries. The government opened OCLEI in 2017 to combat illicit enrichment by government officials. OCLEI has the authority to collect asset declarations from public servants, to conduct investigations of government officials suspected of corruption, and to refer cases for prosecution if sufficient evidence is gathered against the defendant. However, OCLEI’s operations were suspended following civil servants’ union protests against asset declaration requirements. Negotiations between the unions, the government, and donors eventually yielded a satisfactory solution that enabled the office to resume operations, and the office has begun registering asset declarations for certain categories of civil servants. According to its 2017-2018 report, OCLEI received asset declarations from approximately 1,000 civil servants (nearly 70 percent of all civil servants in Mali are subject to assets declaration) over 2017-2018 and referred three suspected cases of corruption to the justice system. However, OCLEI came under significant pressure in 2020 when Mali’s main workers union requested the government close OCLEI.

Following a cabinet reshuffle in 2019, the newly appointed Minister of Justice took measures to address corruption by appointing a new prosecutor in the Economic and Financial Specialized Judicial Office of Bamako, a court in charge of prosecution of corruption. Since these changes, many high-profile business and political leaders have been arrested due to corruption allegations. In 2021, Mali’s Auditor General released 11 financial audit reports, two performance audit reports, four reports of conformity, and four reports on the level of implementation of recommendations it made in previous audit reports. The Auditor General refers cases of fraud or other unlawful practices to the Economic and Financial Specialized Judicial Office of Bamako. Since the beginning of the transition government in 2020, reports from the Auditor General have led to the arrest of many high-profile former government officials for alleged involvement in corruption business dealings. Though these are welcome developments for some observers, others have highlighted the political motivations behind these arrests and the failure of the judicial branch to prosecute them properly and in a timely manner. In sum, the results of recent anti-corruption efforts remain a mixed bag.

In September 2021, the National Transition Council (CNT) passed the law on the creation of the national court dedicated to combating economic and financial crimes. The Act amends provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and provides the legal basis for establishing a much-needed institution to prosecute economic and financial crimes wherever they occur in Mali.  The new Criminal Procedure Code established three specialized anti-corruption chambers under the jurisdictions of appellate courts in Kayes, Bamako, and Mopti.

The new, national anti-corruption court establishes a comprehensive system to fight corruption and to coordinate across numerous specialized agencies such as CENTIF, OCLEI, and BVG. It is also the single judicial point of contact for economic and financial crimes with authority to liaise on cooperation requests for international mutual assistance on corruption related criminal matters.

Mali’s transition authorities have prioritized messaging about anti-corruption and the need for enhanced financial transparency in governance. The creation of a national anti-corruption court that is professionally staffed and empowered to aggressively prosecute economic and financial crimes is an important step toward real progress on this issue.

10. Political and Security Environment

The U.S. Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Mali is available at https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-mali/. The current Travel Advisory for Mali is available at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/mali-travel-advisory.html.

Throughout nearly three decades of multi-party democracy, Mali has consistently encouraged private enterprise and investment. However, the destabilizing effects of Mali’s 2012 coup d’état led to a deterioration of the economic situation and uncertainty in the investment climate. The August 2020 coup d’état and the May 2021 consolidation of military power have plunged the country into political uncertainty and instability, further exacerbating existing challenges. Mali remains under transition government rule, although ECOWAS and other international organizations maintain pressure on the government to organize elections in a timely manner. Mali continues to face significant political and security challenges amidst slow implementation of a peace agreement signed in 2015 that aims to resolve the ongoing conflict in northern Mali. A disparate group of signatory armed groups, militias, bandits, and terrorist groups continue to exert influence in wide swathes of Mali’s largely ungoverned northern areas as well as central Mali. Furthermore, terrorist groups have increased the frequency and range of their attacks—particularly against the base camps of the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) and the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) in northern and central Mali—in an effort to destabilize the country. The situation in central Mali—namely in the Segou and Mopti regions—is increasingly unstable due to intercommunal conflict, localized political violence, and the incursion of extremist groups into the region.

Terrorist groups with varying degrees of allegiance to al-Qaeda and ISIS operate in Mali, and often pursue local agendas complementary to these global extremist movements. Groups linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which have merged under the banner of Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), continued to conduct terrorist attacks throughout 2021, primarily targeting international and Malian military forces. These groups have claimed responsibility for recent gun and improvised explosives attacks, kidnappings, and other violent actions in northern and central Mali.

While the MINUSMA peacekeeping effort is still present in Mali, in February French authorities declared their intent to remove troops from the country. Malian security forces have undertaken counterterrorism operations in the central and the tri-border region since November 2021. However, they have been unable to counter every threat, and in many cases they are accused of targeting civilians. In March of this year, extremist groups attacked FAMa in Mondoro, resulting in dozens of dead, including among FAMa. The UN peacekeepers’ northern base camps are often targeted by terrorist groups. Attacks by violent extremist groups have moved beyond the traditional conflict zone in northern Mali to central and southern Mali, where many villages are controlled by extremist groups who prevent farmers from growing crops, destroy planted crops, and impose zakat. The tri-border area (the border with Burkina Faso and Niger) and some remote parts of southern Mali are increasingly under threat of attack.

While Malian forces, backed by MINUSMA and French forces, had taken steps to reassert control over most of the major cities, much of northern and central Mali remain unstable, with large swaths of the country outside state control. AQIM, long entrenched in northeastern Mali, remains a threat. AQIM has demonstrated a pattern of kidnapping hostages for ransom and launching operations against neighboring Algeria, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, and Niger. AQIM and its local affiliates have been involved in various terrorist attacks targeting Westerners in Mali, including at a restaurant in Bamako in March 2015; at a hotel frequented by foreigners in Sevare in August 2015; against the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako in November 2015; and against the Campement de Kangaba hotel in June 2017.

While previous extremist attacks have generally spared foreign companies, aside from hotels and restaurants, some attacks have targeted infrastructure projects involving foreign companies. In October 2017, extremists attacked a foreign company in charge of the construction of a road in Timbuktu and destroyed several vehicles. In March 2018, terrorists attacked and destroyed a USD 66 million dam construction project in Djenne. In April 2020, extremist groups carried out attacks in the southwestern region of Kayes, Mali’s gold-mining region. In 2021, extremist groups attacked mobile companies’ infrastructure in different areas of northern Mali, resulting in facility damage and service interruptions. In September 2021, a mining company convoy accompanied by Malian security forces was attacked by terrorists on the road from Bamako to Kayes, resulting in at least five deaths. While Malian armed forces have increased pressure on extremist groups, observers consider that the departure of the French forces may result in increased security challenges, including from signatories of the Algiers Peace Accord.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mali are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step to receive security messages and make it easier to be located in an emergency.

11. Labor Policies and Practices

Labor is widely available in Mali, but companies have reported skilled labor is in short supply. Reliable unemployment data is difficult to obtain. While a 2021 survey by the transition government found an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, the actual figure is likely much higher. The rate is generally higher for youth between the ages of 15-24, coming in at 9.9 percent according to the government’s 2021 survey. Workers have the right to unionize. Relations between labor and management are often contentious and strikes are common. The government has ratified all International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions protecting the rights of workers.

Since June 2014, the government faced several strikes led by different unions, including the national union of workers (UNTM), the union of university and basic education professors, the union of workers from the tax office, the union of workers of the national radio and television company, the confederation of unions (CSTM), the union of judges, and the union of health workers. Since its inauguration in September 2020, the transition government has also faced a series of strikes across sectors. The private sector also participates in strikes, as seen in 2015, 2017, and 2022, which have affected banking, finance, and telecommunications companies. While employers and workers are often able to reach a resolution, strikes can significantly disrupt economic activities, particularly when they involve key sectors like transportation or the financial sector. The labor code adopted in 1992 (amended in December 2011, in June 2017, and in July 2019) streamlined hiring and firing procedures. Conflicts often arise when employers terminate contracts and fire employees. Large Malian and international employers have had difficulty enforcing their rights in court, given that powerful and independent labor unions play an important role in supporting their members and in other national affairs. Compensation plan negotiations and firing procedures are time-consuming and closely scrutinized by the Ministry of Labor and the judiciary. Labor laws differentiate between layoffs and firing. Employees who are laid off are not entitled to unemployment compensation but are entitled to other benefits, including one-month gross salary and compensation for untaken leave. Employers are required to provide advance notice and a certificate to laid off employees. Although not a requirement, it is advisable to have regular contacts with labor inspectors, especially when concluding new hiring contracts or considering terminations or reductions in force.

Child labor and trafficking in persons continue to be serious problems in Mali. The ILO reports over 46 percent of children in Mali engage in child labor, including the worst forms of child labor such as child soldiering and hazardous activities in the agriculture and gold mining sectors. A 2021 transition government survey reported 11.6 percent of children between 5 and 17 years old are employed. The survey suggests the prevalence of child labor depends on the age, with 20 percent of children between the age of 10 and 17 years old being employed, compared with 2.5 percent of children aged 5 to 9 years old. Cotton, artisanal gold, and rice are included on the U.S. government’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Additionally, rice is included on the U.S. government’s Executive Order 13126 List of Goods Produced by Forced and Indentured Child Labor. The government has action plans for monitoring child labor and unsafe working conditions. Labor inspection entities, however, are underfunded and unable to regularly conduct inspections or provide support for victims of violations. In June 2017, Mali amended its labor code to align Malian law on the minimum age of employment with the ILO standard, increasing the minimum age of employment from 14 up to 15. The amended labor law bans discrimination based on religion, race, or gender. It also requires equality in terms of remuneration and forbids forced and compulsory labor.

Mauritania

Executive Summary

The deterioration of the global economy that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the Mauritanian economy and reversed the previously bright economic outlook that led to the reduction of the country’s poverty rate from 10.9 percent in 2008 to 6.0 percent in 2014. The Mauritanian government response has been swift in mitigating the impact of the pandemic with the support from international partners by way of assistance funds and debt service suspensions. As a response to the pandemic’s economic impact, President Ghazouani launched the Economic Recovery Plan (ProPEP) in September 2020. ProPEP aims to boost the economy and improve the living conditions of vulnerable populations by reducing extreme poverty, expanding basic socio-economic infrastructures, organizing the information sector, and adopting a regulatory framework conducive to private sector development. As part of his annual speech to the parliament on January 29, Prime Minister Bilal presented a brighter picture of Mauritania’s economic outlook highlighting the government’s push to attract more investors. His presentation highlighted Mauritania’s natural resources which consist of deposits of copper, gypsum, uranium, and hydrocarbons including one of Africa’s largest offshores discoveries, the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) natural gas field.

The 2022 budget reflects the Mauritanian government’s priorities as it attempts to revitalize the national economy and alleviate poverty, especially in the informal sector which was particularly impacted by COVID-19 and comprises 70 to 75 percent of the total economy. With its considerable natural resources, Mauritania places great importance on foreign direct investment (FDI). The continued global demand for iron-ore boded well for Mauritania throughout the pandemic as iron ore production is a main contributor to the country’s GDP. Real GDP is expected to grow from 2.8 percent in 2021 to 4.2 percent in 2022.

Mauritania has substantial renewable energy potential, particularly when it comes to solar, wind, and hydro power resources. The natural gas reserves at GTA are expected to enter production in 2023. The energy sector (hydrocarbons and renewable energy) offers opportunities for increased U.S. direct investment in Mauritania. On February 28, Kosmos Energy announced that it will increase investments in Mauritania and Senegal in 2022 by USD 300 million to accelerate development of the GTA gas field. According to Power Africa, the Government of Mauritania is working to expand its electricity supply and encourage investment in the renewable energy sector to stimulate the economy with the aim of reaching universal access by 2030. To do this, the GIRM will:

  • Increase new production capacity from local resources, mainly natural gas;
  • Increase the share of renewable energies in its total energy production, targeting 60 % by 2030;
  • Further develop the transmission network and interconnections with neighboring countries; and
  • Implement decentralized solutions in isolated areas.

Traditionally, U.S. investment in Mauritania has been primarily in the hydrocarbons and mining sectors. However, the Mauritanian government’s efforts to meet the challenges of food self-sufficiency provide an opportunity for U.S. agro-businesses to engage with Mauritania through supplies and equipment sales, as well as technical training. In 2019, Mauritania ranked as the United States’ 157th largest goods export market amounting to USD 91 million. Mauritania’s top export categories were machinery (USD 24 million), meat poultry (USD 15 million), vehicles (used and new) (USD 9 million), minerals fuels (USD 9 million).

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2021 140 of 180 http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview 
Global Innovation Index 2021 N/A https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator 
U.S.  FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) 2019 USD 96 https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/  
World Bank GNI per capita 2020 USD 1,670 https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD   

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

3. Legal Regime

4. Industrial Policies

5. Protection of Property Rights

Niger

Executive Summary

Niger is eager to attract foreign investment and has taken slow but deliberate steps to improve its business climate, including making reforms to liberalize the economy, encourage privatizations, appeal to foreign investors, increase imports and exports, and create new export processing zones.

In April 2021, newly elected President Bazoum Mohamed was inaugurated in Niger’s historic first democratic transfer of executive power.  Bazoum intends to build upon the advancement of his predecessors to continue to develop the nation’s mineral and petroleum wealth, while seeking to develop agricultural businesses that can take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.  Pre-COVID economic growth averaged roughly six percent per year and the government managed positive 1.5 percent growth through the 2020 pandemic year. The Government of Niger (GoN) continues to seek foreign investment – U.S. or otherwise.

President Bazoum frequenty reiterates the need for FDI during official visits. In 2017, the GoN created the High Council for Investment, which is an organization tasked with supporting and promoting foreign direct investments in Niger, and is furthering appeals for foreign investment with the development of the GUCE, Guichet Unique du Commerce Exterieur, an information and facilitation system for foreign trade, electronic and dematerialized, intended to simplify and modernize procedures to facilitate the passage of goods entering and leaving the national territory.

U.S. investment in the country is very small; there is currently only one U.S. firm operating in Niger outside of U.S. Government-related projects. Many U.S. firms see risk due to the country’s limited internet, transport, and energy infrastructure, terrorist threats, the perception of political instability, lack of educated and skilled/experienced workers, and a climate that is dry and very hot. Foreign investment dominates key sectors: France in the the uranium sector, Morocco is making inroads with telecommunications, bank and real estate development, while Chinese and Turkish investment is paramount and expanding in the oil, mining,construction, and hospitality sectors. Much of the country’s retail stores, particularly those related to food, dry goods and clothing are operated by Lebanese and Moroccan entrepreneurs. GoN focus areas for investment include the mining and petroleum sector, infrastructure and construction, transportation, and agribusiness. The GoN also hopes to draw investment into petroleum exploration into proven reserves with the 2023 target completion of a crude oil export pipeline.

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perception Index 2021 124 of 180 http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview
Global Innovation Index 2021 129 of 132 https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) 2020 N/A https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/
World Bank GNI per capita 2020 $550 https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

 

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

3. Legal Regime

4. Industrial Policies

5. Protection of Property Rights

6. Financial Sector

8. Responsible Business Conduct

There is a general awareness of expectations regarding RBC, as well as business’ obligations to proactively conduct due diligence and do no harm.

Ordinance No. 97-001 of 10 January 1997 on the Institutionalization of Environmental Impact Assessments, Article 4 of which states: “Activities, projects or programs of development which, by the importance of their size or their impact on the natural and human environments, may affect the latter are subject to prior authorization from the Minister of the Environment. This authorization is granted on the basis of an assessment of the consequences of the project activities or the program updated by an environmental impact study prepared by the promoter.”

For example, in the extractive industries sector, the GoN has focused on ensuring existing obligations are met and that communities benefit from investments. Nigerien law states that 15 percent of revenues derived from extractive industries must be returned to the municipality affected by the project. However, such payments are difficult to track and the GoN is not active or engaged in follow-up.

There have been no high-profile instances of private sector impact on human rights in the recent past.

The GoN attempts to enforce domestic laws related to human rights, labor rights, consumer protection, and environmental protections. However, a lack of resources makes such enforcement difficult and only somewhat effective.

The government has not put in place corporate governance, accounting, and executive compensation standards.

There is limited NGO focus on responsible business practices. Those looking at transparency in contracts and business practices are generally able to work freely regarding engagement with businesses.

Niger is not a member of the OECD and does not adhere to OECD guidelines, including those related to supply chains of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. There are no Nigerien-owned companies that deal exclusively with minerals, including those that may originate from conflict-affected areas.

Niger was officially readmitted to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative in February 2020 after a three-year absence. The constitution mandates full disclosure of all payments from foreign government stemming from mining operations, as well as publication of all new exploration and exploitation contracts in the mining sector. However, in practice, payments from foreign countries to GoN officials have at times been controversial due to non-reporting of such payments.

Additional Resources

Department of State

Department of the Treasury

Department of Labor

9. Corruption

The constitution, adopted in 2010, contains provisions for greater transparency in government reporting of revenues from the extractive industries, as well as the declaration of personal assets by government officials, including the President. On April 6th, 2021 President Bazoum Mohamed submitted a written sworn statement of his assest to the National Court of Auditors and made the fight against corruption central to his five-year term program.

The High Authority for the Fight against Corruption and Related Offenses (HALCIA) has the authority to investigate corruption charges within all government agencies. HALCIA is limited by a lack of resources and a regulatory process that is still developing. Despite the limitations, HALCIA was able to conduct a number of successful investigations during 2020-2021. Laws related to anti-corruption measures are in place and apply to government officials, their family members, and all political parties.

Legislation on Prevention and Repression of Corruption was passed into law in January 2018; a strategy for implementation was still pending in 2022. Niger has laws in place designed to counter conflict of interest in awarding contracts and/or government procurements. Bribery of public officials by private companies is officially illegal, but occurs regularly despite GoN denunciations of such conduct.

Law number 2017-10 of March 31, 2017, prohibits bribery of public officials, international administrators, and foreign agents, bribes within the private sector, illicit enrichment and abuse of function by public authorities. The High Authority Against Corruption and Relating Crimes (HALCIA) is further tasked with working with private companies on internal anti-corruption efforts. Bribery of public officials, however, occurs on a regular basis. Though most companies officially discourage such behavior, internal controls are rare except among the largest (mostly foreign) enterprises. The government/authority encourages or requires private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials. Some private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.

The government does not provide any additional protections to NGOs involved in investigating corruption.

The government/authority encourages or requires private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials. Some private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials.

Niger has joined several international and regional anti-corruption initiatives including the UN Convention against Corruption in 2008, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption in 2005, and the Protocol on Combating Corruption of the economic community of the states of West Africa (ECOWAS) in 2006. Niger is alsoa member state of the GIABA, which is an institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) responsible for facilitating the adoption and implementation of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) in West Africa.

As of April 2022, there is only one large U.S. telecommunications firm invested in Niger, although it gained its assets through acquisition of a U.K. company. This low number is due to reasons that include, but are not limited to, the perception of corruption. Cases of suspected corruption occasionally appear in media reports concerning GoN procurement, the award of licenses and concessions and customs.

Resources to Report Corruption

Maï Moussa Elhadji Basshir, President
High Authority to Combat Corruption and Related Infractions (HALCIA)
BP 550 Niamey – Niger
(227) 20 35 20 94/ 95/ 96/ 97
contact@halcia.ne 

Wada Maman
President
Transparency International Niger (TI-N)
BP 10423, Niamey – Niger
(227) 20 32 00 96 / 96 28 79 69
anlcti@yahoo.fr 

10. Political and Security Environment

Niger has been politically stable since 2010, when the most recent of Niger’s coup d’états (there have been four since 1990) concluded within less than a year in a return to democratic governance. The most recent general elections were held in in December 2020, with a presidential run-off in February 2021. President Bazoum Mohamed was elected in the first democratic transfer of executive power in Niger’s history. Although Niger’s politics are often contentious and antagonistic, political violence is rare. Most parties agree that national security and peaceful cohabitation among Niger’s ethnicities are the government’s principal priority. However, protests and strikes about non-payment of salaries for public employees, lack of funding for education, and general dissatisfaction with social conditions remain a concern.

Public protest over issues like poverty, corruption, and unemployment can also sometimes turn violent. In 2020, police arrested several protesters engaged in burning tires and vandalizing property in protest of embezzlement at the Ministry of National Defense. Protests also followed the government’s announcement of social lockdown procedures in March 2020 to respond to COVID-19.

Niger experiences security threats on three distinct border areas. Niger is a founding member of the G5 Sahel fighting terrorism in the Sahel while integrating the poverty reduction dimension to mitigate the effects of youth underemployment and violent extremism. The collapse of the Libyan state to the north has resulted in a flow of weapons and extremists throughout the Sahel region. Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa terrorists regularly launch attacks in the Diffa Region in Niger’s southeast. Jama’at al Nusrat al-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), which is a loose affiliation of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Macina Liberation Front (MLF), Ansar Dine, and al-Mourabitoun; along with ISIS-Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS), threaten Niger’s northern and northwestern borders. Terrorists regularly crossed the Mali border to attack civilian and security sites in the Tillaberi and Tahoua regions. Niger has a history of western residents and aid workers being kidnapped by terrorist groups or kidnapping for ransom gangs, as recently as October 2020. So far, more than 40 out of the 266 communes in Niger are in a state of emergency. The State Department’s Travel Advisory for Niger from April 2022 advises travels to be aware that violent crimes including robbery are common and terrorism is a threat.

11. Labor Policies and Practices

Niger has an abundance of available labor, primarily unskilled. One of the most pressing concerns within the Ministry of Labor is the lack of jobs available to recent high school and university graduates, who often face long spells of unemployment or underemployment. There is very high unemployment among young workers, many of whom are uneducated and illiterate. Migration from the rural areas to the cities is a problem, as the majority of recently-arrived workers are unskilled. Such workers most often turn up in the informal economy. While informal activities are generally not reported, the World Bank estimates from 2021 stated that between 70 and 80 percent of the non-agricultural workforce is in the informal economy. Niger, as part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) must accept laborers from neighboring ECOWAS states. While such laborers do exist within the Nigerien economy, this phenomenon is not common enough to cause friction and/or widespread resentment among local laborers.

The informal economy in Niger is vast and employs a majority of the nation’s population not involved in subsistence farming. In cities, most workers in the non-government sector are employed in an informal manner, including domestic services, markets and vending, and construction and maintenance. U.S. companies are encouraged to avoid informal employment arrangements as it presents a liability to Ministry of Labor inspectors.

Given both the need for foreign direct investment and the abundance of available labor within the country, labor laws are mostly modified, rather than waived to accommodate foreign firms. Many large foreign firms, including Orano and CNPC, are allowed to bring workers into the country provided that Nigerien laborers make up a substantial percentage of the overall workforce. As a member of ECOWAS, Niger routinely accepts labor, as obligated, from other member states.

According to Article 9 of Niger’s 2010 Labor Code, firms must hire Nigerien nationals via direct recruitment or through public or private hiring agencies.

There are no restrictions on employers regarding hiring or laying off employees to respond to fluctuating market conditions. However, before making the decision, the employer must consult with the Inspector of Labor. An employee laid off for economic reasons receives, in addition to severance pay, a non-taxable allowance paid by the employer equal to one month’s gross salary.

Given both the need for foreign direct investment and the abundance of available labor within the country, labor laws are mostly modified, rather than waived to accommodate foreign firms. Currently there are no special economic zones in Niger.

Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are generally respected and workers routinely exercise them. Unions have exercised the right to bargain collectively for wages above the legal minimum in the formal sectors and to improve working conditions.

Niger’s labor code, adopted in September 2012, and its decree No. 2017-682/PRN/MET/PS of August 2017 regulates employment, vocational training, remuneration, collective bargaining, labor representation, and labor disputes. The code also establishes the Consultative Commission for Labor and Employment, the Labor Court and regulates the Technical Consultative Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. The Labor Code lays out clear procedures for dispute resolution mechanisms in its Title VII on labor disputes. Labor hearings are public except at the reconciliation stage.

Although strikes are routine and common, most stem from non-payment of salaries and unsatisfactory working conditions existing within the public sector. Such strikes do not pose an investment risk.

Although Niger has ratified the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labor and the ILO Convention 138 on the minimum age for employment, traditional caste-based servitude is still practiced in some parts of the country. In addition, child labor remains a problem particularly in the agricultural sector and the commercial and artisanal mining sectors. Gender discrimination is quite common within all workplaces.

There were no labor related laws or regulation enacted during the last year. The Labor Code adopted in September 2012 and its decree No. 2017-682/PRN/MET/PS of August 2017 with the regulatory part of the Labor Code remains the most recent legislation related to labor.

13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy
Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or International Source of Data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
Economic Data Year Amount Year Amount  
Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD) 2019 $11,191 2020 $13,741 www.worldbank.org/en/country
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A N/A N/A BEA data available at https://apps.bea.gov/international/
factsheet/
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A N/A N/A BEA data available at https://www.bea.gov/international/
direct-investment-and-multinational-
enterprises-comprehensive-data
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP N/A N/A N/A N/A UNCTAD data available at

https://unctad.org/topic/investment/
world-investment-report
  

* Source for Host Country Data: https://data.worldbank.org/country/niger

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI
Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data (through 2020)
From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)
Inward Direct Investment Outward Direct Investment
Total Inward 6,617 100% Total Outward N/A N/A
France 2,836 42%
China 2,678 40%
Turkey 240 4%
India 133 2%
Algeria 113 2%
“0” reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.

 

14. Contact for More Information

Andrew Caruso
Economic Officer
US Embassy, Niamey
+227 99-49-90-40
CarusoAN@State.gov 

Boubacar Gaoh Mohamed
Economic and Commercial Assistant
BP 11201, Niamey, Niger
+227-85948158
+227 99-49-90-76
BoubacarGaohM@State.gov 

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