Republic of Niger
République du Niger
CAPITAL : Niamey
FLAG : The flag is a tricolor of orange, white, and green horizontal stripes, with an orange circle at the center of the white stripe.
ANTHEM : La Nigérienne.
MONETARY UNIT : The Communauté Financière Africaine franc (CFA Fr), which was originally pegged to the French franc, has been pegged to the euro since January 1999 with a rate of 655.957 CFA francs to 1 euro. The CFA france comes in coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 CFA francs, and notes of 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 CFA francs. CFA Fr1 = $0.00167 (or $1 = CFA Fr 597.577) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Anniversary of 1974 military takeover, 15 April; Labor Day, 1 May; Independence Day, 3 August; Proclamation of the Republic, 18 December; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include 'Id al-Fitr, 'Id al-'Adha', and Milad an-Nabi.
TIME : 1 PM = noon GMT.
French is the national and official language, but it is spoken by only a small minority of the people. The various ethnic groups use their own local languages. Hausa is spoken all over the country as the language of trade. Djerma is also used extensively.
Niger's armed forced totaled 5,300 in 2002, with 5,200 serving in the army and the remaining 100 personnel in the air force. Paramilitary forces numbered 5,400 including the gendarmerie (1,400), the Republican Guard (2,500), and the National Police (1,500). Niger participated in the peacekeeping mission in the DROC. Defense spending amounted to $20.9 million in 2001, or1.3% of GDP.
There is no commercial fishing on a wide scale, but fishing is an appreciable source of revenue for the Sorko on the Niger River and the Boudouma on Lake Chad. The fishermen on Lake Chad consume most of their catch. Most of the total annual catch of 16,250 tons in 2000 was from the Niger River and its tributaries; a small amount is from the Lake Chad region.
Niger has no territories or colonies.
Decalo, Samuel. Historical Dictionary of Niger. 3d ed. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1996.
——. Historical Dictionary of Niger [computer file]. Boulder, Colo.: net Library, Inc., 2000.
Fugelstad, F. A History of Niger, 1850–1960. London: Oxford University Press, 1984.
Miles, William F. S. Hausaland Divided: Colonialism and Independence in Nigeria and Niger. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994.
Niger, Background Paper. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, 1996.
Roberts, Richard L. Warriors, Merchants, and Slaves: the State and the Economy in the Middle Niger Valley, 1700–1914. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1987.
Van Offelen, Marion, and Carol Beckwith. Nomads of Niger. New York: Harry Abrams, 1983.