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Niger:
Geography

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Niger Page


Background
Definition
Niger became independent from France in 1960 and experienced single-party and military rule until 1991, when Gen. Ali SAIBOU was forced by public pressure to allow multiparty elections, which resulted in a democratic government in 1993. Political infighting brought the government to a standstill and in 1996 led to a coup by Col. Ibrahim BARE. In 1999 BARE was killed in a coup by military officers who promptly restored democratic rule and held elections that brought Mamadou TANDJA to power in December of that year. TANDJA was reelected in 2004. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world with minimal government services and insufficient funds to develop its resource base. The largely agrarian and subsistence-based economy is frequently disrupted by extended droughts common to the Sahel region of Africa. A predominately Tuareg ethnic group emerged in February 2007, the Nigerien Movement for Justice (MNJ), and attacked several military targets in Niger's northern region throughout 2007. Events have since evolved into a budding insurrection.
Location
Definition
Western Africa, southeast of Algeria
Geographic coordinates
Definition
16 00 N, 8 00 E
Map references
Definition
Africa
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 1.267 million sq km
land: 1,266,700 sq km
water: 300 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 5,697 km
border countries: Algeria 956 km, Benin 266 km, Burkina Faso 628 km, Chad 1,175 km, Libya 354 km, Mali 821 km, Nigeria 1,497 km
Coastline
Definition
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
Definition
none (landlocked)
Climate
Definition
desert; mostly hot, dry, dusty; tropical in extreme south
Terrain
Definition
predominately desert plains and sand dunes; flat to rolling plains in south; hills in north
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Niger River 200 m
highest point: Mont Bagzane 2,022 m
Natural resources
Definition
uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, molybdenum, gypsum, salt, petroleum
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 11.43%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 88.56% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
730 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
33.7 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 2.18 cu km/yr (4%/0%/95%)
per capita: 156 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
recurring droughts
Environment - current issues
Definition
overgrazing; soil erosion; deforestation; desertification; wildlife populations (such as elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, and lion) threatened because of poaching and habitat destruction
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note
Definition
landlocked; one of the hottest countries in the world; northern four-fifths is desert, southern one-fifth is savanna, suitable for livestock and limited agriculture


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