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About Niger, West Africa

Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa named after the Niger River. Niger is bordered by Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, Nigeria to the south, Benin to the southwest, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, and Algeria to the northwest. The United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP), currently ranks Niger 189th out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index.  Niger has only one water source in the south western part of the country and nearly four-fifths of the country is made up of the Sahara Desert.

Niger is one of, if not the poorest countries in the world, with food insecurity affecting 20% of the population (nearly 30% during periods of poor rainfall). Exacerbating Niger’s food security issues is the dramatically rising population; at 4% per year, Niger has one of the highest growth rates in the world, with women having an average of 7 children each. Niger’s high growth rate is due both to societal pressure, as well as a source of labor in rural areas where families depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

Niger’s rising population has earned the country a position among the youngest countries in the world, with more than 67% of the population under 25-years-old. Yet, Niger currently ranks last among 189 countries on the United Nation’s Education Index.