Niger is a landlocked country of Africa with a population of 15.8 million. It has an area of 1.27 million sq km (489,000 sq miles) and is one of the poorest countries in the world with a GNI of just US $340. The capital city is Niamey and the official language is French.
Niger is bordered by (starting North, going clockwise) Algeria, Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. It is covered mainly in desert so the climate is generally very dry, which makes large-scale agriculture difficult.
The majority of the population is very poor. The country's economy mainly relies on uranium exports and mineral mining.
Due to low literacy levels, the majority of media used in the country is radio. The majority of media is state-run.
The current president is Mahamadou Issoufou, who was elected early in 2011 in an attempt to return democracy, after the military seized power in 2010 after Mamadou Tandja, the previous president, plunged the country into crisis when he tried to extend his rule unconstitutionally.
- World Bank, 2009
- BBC News Niger Factfile