The landlocked West African nation of Niger consists mostly of desert, with most of the population concentrated in the south, near the river that gives the country its name. In the extreme south east is a section of Lake Chad. The climate is hot and dry. Years of military coups, revolts, foreign debt, locust infestation and droughts, the most recent in 2010, have left the country in an unstable condition, both politically and economically. There are no railways, most roads are unpaved, and the shallow River Niger, with its rapids, cannot be used for transport. The population rely on subsistence agriculture though the construction of the Kandadji Dam should help irrigation. Exports of uranium, the main natural resource, have been hit by falling prices. There are a number of National Parks, some designed to protect the wetland areas which are important to migratory birds. Unfortunately the wildlife, including elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe and lion, has suffered from habitat destruction and poaching. The Air and Tenere Reserves are among Africa’s largest, but tourism in the area has been ended by the continuing Tuareg Rebellion. The people of Niger are known as Nigeriens, which distinguishes them from their southern neighbours, the Nigerians.
|Capital of Niger||Niamey|
|Currency||West African CFA franc|
|Time zone||WAT (UTC+1)|
|Dialing code of Niger||+227|
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