Year in Sahara Letters from Niger by Tommi and Kaisu-Leena
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Niger is located in West Africa, on a southern edge of Sahara. Two thirds of Niger is desert, while the rest is semi-arid Sahel. In almost all possible international surveys Niger gets bottom rankings: eg. Niger is the world's second poorest country right after Sierra Leone.

It is also worth mentioning that Niger is not the capital of Nigeria but a fully independent country north of Nigeria. Niger River flows thru both countries.

Area1 267 000 km2
Population10 078 000
Pop. density7,8 persons per km2
CapitalNiamey (650 000)
Official languagefrench
Local languageshausa, djerma, fula, tamashek
CurrencyWest African CFA franc, tied to euro: 1 euro = CFA656
Life expectancy48,5 years
Infant mortality11,5%
Literacy rate13,6% (6,6% women)
Religionsmuslims 95%, animists 4%
Ethnic groupshausa 55,6%, djerma-songhai 22%, fula 8,5%, touareg 7,9%
Previous coupapril 1999
(above information collected from Lonely Planet West Africa (5th Edition) and Le Petit Futé Country Guide Niger)

For more information about Niger:
© Tommi & Kaisu-Leena Rajala 2003-2004
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