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Niger - Q&A from the press briefing (25 February 2021)

Q : How is France responding to the presidential election in Niger and the violence following the election? Is it taking note, like the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, of the announced result?
A : As we wait for Niger’s Constitutional Court to proclaim the final results of that (…)

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France and Niger

Political relations

France and Niger historically have strong relations.

French presence

Consulate of France in Niger: Niamey
France’s community in Niger: 1,408 French nationals registered on 22 October 2019.
Consulate of Niger in France: Paris
Niger’s community in France: 2,057 Nigeriens in 2015

Visits

  • The President of the French Republic visited Niamey on 23 December 2017.
  • The French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, visited Niamey on 12 October 2017 and 15 March 2018.
  • The Minister of the Interior, Gérard Collomb, visited Niger from 15 to 17 March 2018, to attend a conference in Niamey (14 countries) on the fight against immigration, bringing together for the first time countries of departure, transit and arrival.
  • Ministre d’État François de Rugy represented France on 25 February 2019 for the Climate Summit in Niamey, organized by the Nigerien Presidency of the Climate Commission for the Sahel Region created by the African Union.
  • Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire visited Niger on 28 March 2019 for the Franc Zone Finance Ministers Meeting.
  • President Issoufou made an official visit to France in June 2016, and was received in Paris by President François Hollande on 31 March 2017.
  • He attended the Paris Summit of 28 August 2017, alongside the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Chad.
  • He was welcomed by the French President at La Celle-Saint-Cloud on 13 December 2017 for a high-level meeting on the situation in the Sahel.
  • He was received on an official visit to Paris on 4 June 2018.
  • He attended the Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on 10 October 2019 in Lyon and the Paris Peace Forum on 12 November.
  • Prime Minister Brigi Rafini of Niger was received for an official visit to Paris from 6 to 8 February 2017.

Ambassadors

Ambassador of France in Niger: Alexandre Garcia
Ambassador of Niger in France: Ado Elhadji Abou

Economic relations

France is Niger’s leading trading partner, its leading customer and its second largest supplier. However, the bilateral trade balance has traditionally and structurally been positive in Niger, with the French deficit, which, however, is falling because of the significant drop in uranium imports. Mechanical equipment and pharmaceuticals are the main export items from France to Niger.

Around 30 France companies are working in Niger across all economic sectors, including services, distribution and mining, generating €1 million in revenue in 2017.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Niger is one of the 19 priority countries for French development assistance. At the Renaissance Conference (for the financing of the 2017-2021 Economic and Social Development Plan) held in Paris on 13 and 14 December 2017, France pledged €400 million (all instruments combined) to Niger for the period 2017-2021 .

This financing has mainly been implemented by the AFD whose main areas for work are: i) contribution to the sustainable development by support for infrastructure (energy, hydropower and sanitation in urban and rural areas), support for the private sector (financial systems, entrepreneurship, etc.), conservation of the environment, ii) promotion of human development (health, education and vocational training), iii) bolstering food security and rural development; iv) governance (justice, reforms, public finances). Niger received €84 million in budgetary aid (grants) and two budgetary loans of €40 million and €20 million between 2008 and 2018. In 2017, development assistance stood at €58.55 million.

In 2017, a total of 970 Nigeriens studied in France, our country co-funded education and mobility projects (Erasmus +) with Abdou Moumouni University, support for structuring research regarding climate change adaption (SFR Racines).

France supports the scaling up of the Secretariat of the Climate Commission of the Sahel Region and the implementation of the Climate Investment Plan for the Sahel Region (US$1.3 billion).

Decentralized cooperation (22 active partnerships) covered a large portion of Nigerien territory in 2018, amounting to €1 million per year.

Scientific cooperation draws on the Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the medical and health research centre (CERMES) that is a member of the Pasteur Institute network and Agrhymet.

Cultural cooperation is built on the Jean Rouch France-Niger cultural centre, which is a binational institution. Its two centres in Niamey and Zinder have the two largest public libraries in Niger. Two Alliances Française branches are located in Agadez and Maradi. The Lycée Français La Fontaine in Niamey has almost 800 pupils, from pre-school through to secondary school.

Other cooperation

In view of the security challenges in the Sahel-Sahara region, there is extensive security and defence cooperation between France and Niger. It seeks in particular to strengthen Niger’s expertise in combating major crime (terrorism, various forms of trafficking).

Operation Barkhane, launched in August 2014, relies on a projected air base in Niamey. It is committed in supporting Niger’s armed forces and the G5 Sahel Joint Force with which it conducts joint cross-border operations. This operational cooperation is supplemented by a permanent structural cooperation system overseen by a network of ten military cooperation officers involved in seven projects. It is focused on HR areas, logistics, command support, training of officers and paramedical staff (regional school for military nurses). The “light helicopter” project, a main action of our structural cooperation begun with a donation of three Gazelle helicopters in 2013 – and an additional two helicopters will be provided in 2021 – helped establish an autonomous capacity of operational engagement 24/7 with teams and mechanics of Nigerien armed forces.

Updated: 20.10.20