Why are Nigeria and Niger different

Niger an agricultural state in the Sahel region

Rich in mineral resources, development-oriented and politically relatively stable after the democratic new beginning in 2011 - but currently still very poor: This is how the situation in Niger could be summed up.

In 1960 the West African country gained independence from France. The following decades were marked by changing military governments and various coups. From 1999 to 2009 the democratically elected President Mamadou Tandja ruled, under whom the country achieved a certain stability. The hope for democratization and economic development was not fulfilled - Tandja ruled increasingly authoritarian.

After President Tandja refused to resign after two terms in accordance with the constitution in 2009, he was overthrown by the military in 2010. A new constitution with more civil rights was drawn up, which was accepted by the population in a referendum. Elections were held at the municipal, regional and national levels in early 2011. Long-time opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou emerged victorious from the presidential elections and was confirmed in office in 2016. Despite an attempt to boycott the opposition, the elections were lawful and calm. The domestic political climate has improved since President Issoufou's second five-year term began.

The Nigerien government has set itself ambitious development goals. These include reducing poverty and food insecurity, consolidating democracy and improving governance, economic recovery and stabilizing the security situation.

Development cooperation

In the course of the political crisis in 2009/2010, the agreed development programs were temporarily stopped. Only humanitarian measures to alleviate acute food crises were financed.

After Niger returned to democratic structures, Germany resumed its cooperation with the country in 2011. The focus of the cooperation is on the areas of "decentralization and good governance" as well as "productive agriculture and food security". In addition, Germany supports Niger in the areas of basic education and health (family planning).

The public's hopes rest on the President Interner Link

Since 2011, the people of Niger have been putting their hopes in President Mahamadou Issoufou and his government. Issoufou is expected to lead the West African country back on the path of democracy, initiate political and economic reforms and develop effective solutions to major social problems.

Great poverty internal link

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. On the current United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), the country ranks last of the 189 countries listed.

German development cooperation with Niger

After Niger's return to democracy, the temporarily suspended development cooperation was resumed in 2011. In 2014, commitments totaling 62 million euros were made for the years 2014 to 2017. In 2015 and 2016, an additional 30 million euros were committed.

Germany is the country's third largest bilateral donor after France and the USA. The collaboration focuses on two areas:

  • Decentralization and good governance
  • Productive agriculture and food security

In addition, the Federal Republic of Germany supports the Republic of Niger in the areas of basic education and health.

German commitment to refugees and migrants package of measures worth 66 million euros agreed

In order to support Niger in the situation of refugees and migrants, a package of measures worth 66 million euros was agreed at the German-Nigerian government negotiations in 2017. Niger is to be supported in dealing with migration policy challenges. In the Agadez region in particular, local communities are helped to better meet the needs of the local population as well as migrants, refugees and returnees. In addition, the consequences of the migration movements are analyzed by observation centers and the municipalities are supported in implementing suitable measures.

The measures decided focus on eliminating the causes of flight. For example, schools are being built and equipped and the establishment of basic infrastructure (health stations, markets) supported by labor-intensive programs to create jobs for the local population. Other projects include vocational training, qualification and employment promotion (including rural professions, mechanics, tailors), help with business start-ups through start-up financing, literacy and campaigns on sex education and family planning. An advisory project supports Niger in developing and implementing a holistic and coordinated policy to cope with the challenges of migration. Exchange forums are promoted - between ministries or with civil society (call up the lexicon entry for the term) *.

Strengthening municipal structuresInternal link

Niger has been pursuing a policy of decentralization since 2004 with the aim of strengthening the local structures in the country. One of the challenges here is not only to transfer the competencies for certain areas to the municipalities, but also to provide the financial means necessary to carry out these tasks.

Protect natural resourcesInternal link

Niger is a landlocked country. The Sahara covers most of the country's area, the rest of Niger belongs to the semi-arid, i.e. predominantly dry Sahel zone. As a result, only a small part of the country can be used for agriculture.

Improving the quality of education, building health centersInternal link

In the area of ​​basic education, German involvement is focused on selected core problems. Germany is promoting the implementation of the education sector program of the Nigerien government, among other things by building and equipping school classes, training teachers and school administrators and increasing the capacity of primary schools.