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Country of Niger Flag

Capital: Niamey

Population: 23,310,715

Brief History of Niger:

The area that is today the country of Niger has been inhabited for thousands of years. Early in history Niger was an important crossroads for trading and was part of many African empires such as the Songhai Empire , Mali , and Bornu.

In recent history Niger has seen large groups of the nomadic Tuareg peoples form confederations. These confederations clashed with the Fulani Empire of Sokoto in the late 18th Century.

The first European explorers to the land were British explorer Mungo Park and German explorer Heinrich Barth in the 1800s. The French showed up later and began to colonize the area. In 1922 Niger became a French colony.

Niger became on independent country in 1960. Since then it has been marred with civil war, poverty, military coups, and famine. It is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Country of Niger Map

The Geography of Niger

Total Size: 1,267,000 square km

Size Comparison: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Geographical Coordinates: 16 00 N, 8 00 E

World Region or Continent: Africa

General Terrain: predominately desert plains and sand dunes; flat to rolling plains in south; hills in north

Geographical Low Point: Niger River 200 m

Geographical High Point: Mont Bagzane 2,022 m

Climate: desert; mostly hot, dry, dusty; tropical in extreme south

Major cities: NIAMEY (capital) 1.004 million (2009), Zinder

The People of Niger

Type of Government: republic

Languages Spoken: French (official), Hausa, Djerma

Independence: 3 August 1960 (from France)

National Holiday: Republic Day, 18 December (1958)

Nationality: Nigerien(s)

Religions: Muslim 80%, remainder indigenous beliefs and Christian

National Symbol:

National Anthem or Song: La Nigerienne (The Nigerian)

Economy of Niger

Major Industries: uranium mining, cement, brick, soap, textiles, food processing, chemicals, slaughterhouses

Agricultural Products: cowpeas, cotton, peanuts, millet, sorghum, cassava (tapioca), rice; cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, poultry

Natural Resources: uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, molybdenum, gypsum, salt, petroleum

Major Exports: uranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, onions

Major Imports: foodstuffs, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the

National GDP: $11,630,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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