Map Page 1113 Area 489,191 square mi (1,267,000 square km) Population 11,058,590 Capital Niamey Highest Point 6,634 ft (2,022 m) Lowest Point 656 ft (200 m) GDP per capita $800 Primary Natural Resources uranium, coal, iron ore, tin.
A LANDLOCKED republic in West Africa, Niger is bordered by ALGERIA to the northwest, MALI and BURKINA FASO to the west, BENIN to the southwest, NIGERIA to the south, CHAD to the east, and LIBYA to the northeast.
Its capital, Niamey, is the largest city; other urban centers are Agadez, Maradi, Tahoua, and Zinder.
Niger's climate and terrain rank among the hottest and driest in the world, since four-fifths of the country consists of desert; the remainder is dry savannah.
Less than 4 percent of the land is arable.
Only one major river, the Niger, runs through the southwest.
Niger's population is largely rural and engaged in pastoralism or subsistence agriculture.
The majority of the population lives in the south.
The Hausa, Niger's largest ethnic group, are 56 percent of the population, followed by the Djerma (Zarma) at 22 percent, and the Beri Beri (Kanouri) at 4.3 percent.
In the northern deserts live the Fula/Fulani, who make up 8.5 percent of the country's population, followed by the Tuareg at 8 percent, with 1.2 percent represented by Arabs, Toubou, and Gourmantche.
Niger is ranked amongst the poorest countries in the world, and is heavily dependent upon foreign aid for basic needs.
The country's economy has taken a recent downturn because of the decreasing demand for uranium, which was Niger's largest export.
Neolithic remains have been found in Niger, and the Air Massif was explored by the Romans in the first century C.E.
Major trans-Saharan trading states were established from the 11th to the 16th century by the Tuareg (Agadez), the Kanuri (Bilma in eastern Niger), and the Hausa (Zinder.) Much of Niger fell under the control of the Songhai Empire throughout the 15th and 16th centuries; eastern and southern Niger were annexed by Bornu after the fall of the Songhai Empire, and the Djerma settled in southwest Niger in the 17th century.
The Fulani gained control of southern Niger in the early 19th century during the jihad of Usman dan Fodio.
The French made Niger a colonial holding in 1885 then established military posts in south Niger, but because of Tuareg resistance, Agadez along with much of the north did not fall under French control until 1904.
Niger stayed a colony until the late 1950s, gaining full independence in 1960.
Since independence, Niger has undergone a series of crises.
The 1960s saw relative stability despite rebel insurgencies.
Niger's economy then plummeted during the Sahelian drought of 1968-75, which destroyed much of Niger's livestock and agricultural resources and prompted a military coup.
During the 1980s, the uranium boom boosted Niger's economy but led to huge disparities in wealth that caused civil unrest.
The 1990s saw armed conflict with the Tuareg in the north, several changes to the government, and the assassination of military dictator Ibrahim Bare Mainassara in 1999.
France suspended aid to Niger following the assassination, which prompted Niger to hold free elections and create a civil government.
- Another European railway strike
"The French railway strike is planned on October 8, and Belgium strike will be held the next day.
It is supposed that French train staff will stop working on the evening of October 7 and will resume it by the morning 9 October. The aim of the strike is to attract the attention of the authorities due to the worsened working conditions and also their payment dissatisfaction. To be more precise, the trade unions want to reassure the authorities not to reform the Labor Code and pension payroll system.
Their Belgium colleagues wish to come up with the same requirements. It was also reported that high-speed trains Eurostar will be routed between London and Lille without reaching Brussels due to the strike. Thalys trains connecting Belgium and French capital cities will be canceled. The tourists would better think of an alternative way or choose some other means of transport. "
- Traveling to Ellada is getting more expensive
"Because of the abolition of tax benefits for the most visited islands, the traveling prices to Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and Skiathos will be considerably increased.
The preferential tax treatment, regulated on the islands, was canceled from October 1, 2015 according to the Government decision. The capacity to pay 30% less tax will also be concerned towards hotels located on the above mentioned islands. And from the beginning of the summer next year the new rules will be applied to the rest of the islands.
The imposed measures will affect the tourists, who will have to pay the bills without any tax treatment benefits. The new rule will first of all be applied to the hotel room prices, which may be increased up to 7-10% according to the experts forecast. Consequently, the vacation package price will also be increased, which does not favor the tourists. "