Niger, officially known as the Republic of Niger (French: République du Niger
). Like most of Northern Africa, it's mostly Muslim, with some Christians. It's also one of the world's most impoverished nations and quite possibly the
most impoverished nation on Earth
- The average life span in the United States and most of the developed world is 75-83 years. It's 36 years old for both sexes in Niger.
- The adult mortality rate is over 51%.
- It has the world's highest fertility rate (7.6 children/woman) which led to the world's highest infant mortality rate and how over 50% of the population is under 15.
The main reason for the bad state of human development is the fact that, since its independence from France in 1960, Niger has been in one way or another under dictators more worried about their pockets than the country's problems. Consider the fact that the first dictator was in power until 1991, followed by a brief period
of freedom of speech, which ended in 1996 with another dictatorship that lasted until 1999. A constitutional crisis followed in 2010 when the incumbent president tried to stay longer than allowed and the military once again took charge (however, this time they were more welcomed since they were deposing the increasingly more dictatorial president Mamadou).
Also, serious cases of drought come from time to time, putting the agriculture in grave danger. After all, the country is just desert
, with only some oasis separated by many miles. A famine also struck the country in 2010.
Not to be confused with its neighbor Nigeria
, which is in better condition by several orders of magnitude. As it was colonized by France rather than Britain, Niger is actually pronounced "Nee-Jher", not "Nye-Jer", and Niger's citizens are referred to as Nigeriens
, pronounced as "Nee-Jher-Ee-eins". Oh, and it is always, always
spelled with just one "G"
found that out the hard way
The Nigerien flag
Orange symbolizes either the Sahara Desert or the slightly more fertile Sahel region, both of which dominate the north; white symbolizes either purity or the Niger River; and green symbolizes either hope or the fertile southern half of Niger; the orange roundel in the middle can symbolize either the sun or independence.