Despite much donor funded improvement, the transport system remains inadequate, with only 8 percent of the 6,800 kilometers (4,225 miles) of roads being paved, although international road transport has improved with the completion of the Zinder-Agadis Road (part of the Trans Sahara highway). Although there remains no railway network in Niger, there is an emphasis on increasing access to the sea via waterways through neighboring states to the south.
There are international airports at Naimey and Agadez, and 25 other towns have airports or landing strips. Naimey is the busiest airport and is served by several regional and international carriers.
There are about 14,000 telephones in Niger, and most main towns have public telephones. The international telephone service links Naimey to Nigerian and French installations. There are an estimated 38,000 televisions and 500,000 radios in use in Niger.
In the energy sector there have been substantial rises in fuel prices, by more than 20 percent, in 2000. This rise has increased prices throughout the economy by making transport and electricity more expensive, although output is these sectors has remained more-or-less unchanged. Domestic electricity is mainly thermally generated, with some rural solar energy. Electricity consumption rose to
|Country||Newspapers||Radios||TV Sets a||Cable subscribers a||Mobile Phones a||Fax Machines a||Personal Computers a||Internet Hosts b||Internet Users b|
|a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.|
|b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( http://www.isc.org ) and are per 10,000 people.|
|SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.|
268 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in 1998, but production, due to poor maintenance of installations was a mere 28 million kilowatt hours. The rest is bought from Nigeria, but the country has suffered frequent power cuts due to rationing of the supply from Nigerian. A new hydroelectric dam has been proposed 180 kilometers from Naimey. The government petrol company, Sonidep, and the state electricity company, Nigelec, have been slated for privatization.
Sonichar (a parastatal ) began opencast coal mining in Anou Arraren in 1981 to provide fuel for the local power plant and provide energy for the uranium mines and industry near Arlit, as well as the towns of Agadez and Tchirozine. Reserves stand at 6 million metric tons, and production has been 150,000 metric tons per year since 1983.