The industrial sector is small and undeveloped. In the factories, agricultural products are mainly processed.
Here, peanut oil, cotton fabric and leather are produced. There are also breweries, mills and a cement factory. The industry’s potential for development is hampered, among other things, by the smuggling of many consumer goods from Nigeria.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Niger. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
Coup leaders want to become president
General Salou Djibo announces his candidacy in the December 2020 presidential election for the Peace and Justice Party (PJP). Djibo led the military junta who deposed then-President Mahamadou Tandja (see February 2010). Djibo retained power until April 2011 when he handed over the regime to current President Mahamadou Issoufou. Djibo retired from the army in 2019 and now hopes to replace Issoufou, who according to the constitution is not allowed to stand for re-election.
Laws allow eavesdropping
Parliament adopts new legislation allowing interception as a means of combating terrorism and cross-border crime; The opposition fears that the law will be used against it and leaves in the protest hall where the vote is taking place.
Offensive against Boko Haram
The Nigerian Ministry of Defense says that around 75 members of Boko Haram have been killed by Nigerian and Nigerian government forces in southeast Niger and Nigeria, respectively. Twenty-five of the militant Islamists are killed south of the city of Diffa in Niger while around 50 are killed by Nigerian flights on Lake Chad on Nigerian soil. Two Nigerian soldiers are injured in the operation, according to the Ministry of Defense whose information has not been confirmed by another source.
Relieves the restrictions
The government shortens the nightly curfew in Niamey and places of worship may again open for prayer times and more. The pressure from religious leaders to ease restrictions on mosque operations has been intense and Niamey was hit in April by four days of riots triggered by popular frustration over restrictions imposed on the Corona pandemic.
Minister dies with covid-19
Nigerian Labor Minister Mohamed Ben Omar of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) dies with covid-19. Ben Omar was 55 years old.
Claims against quarantine rules
Ten people are imprisoned in connection with violent protests in Niamey against the restrictions that exist to protect the population from the corona pandemic. Then at the end of March there is a nightly curfew and a ban on crowds at prayer. About 100 protesters burn tires and vandalize private property. The attacks last for four days, are carried out from motorcycles and are described by the police as well organized. The worst affected is the poor district of Lazaret. Niamey is quarantined and the state of emergency prevails in the capital. Mosques and schools are closed.
IMF support for coronary pandemic
The IMF grants $ 114.5 million in relief to Niger to help fight the effects of the corona pandemic on society and the economy. The money will be used to cover the budget deficits that arise. Niger will also receive some debt relief from the IMF.
Imprisoned opposition leaders are released prematurely
Hama Amadou, leader of the opposition party NDM, is one of 1,540 prisoners released early due to the risk of spreading the corona virus in the country’s overcrowded prisons. Amadou served a prison sentence for smuggling infants (see November 2019) and had five months left on his sentence.
New European strength
Nigerian and Mali’s defense ministers agree with eleven EU countries to set up a joint military operation, Operation Takouba, to be merged with the French forces in the Sahel in the fight against militant Islamists. Sweden will contribute helicopters and up to 150 soldiers. Other countries participating in different ways are, for example, Belgium, the Netherlands, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Denmark.
More French soldiers
France increases its military response force in the Sahel region by 600 soldiers to a total of 5 100 men. Most of the soldiers will be deployed in the border areas between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger where the Islamist attacks have increased significantly in recent times. At the same time, France sends about 100 military vehicles to the area. The reinforcement will be in place by the end of February. France has lost 41 soldiers in the fight against the armed Islamists in the Sahel.
Election preparations are interrupted in the west
The threat from armed Islamists means that registration for the December 2020 presidential election will be suspended in parts of the Tillaberi and Tahoua regions bordering Mali and Burkina Faso in the west. Three attacks by jihadists in Tillaberi in December 2019 and January 2020 claimed 174 lives. More than 7,000 have fled their homes in the area according to the UN agency UNHCR.
About 90 soldiers are killed in IS attack
Eighty government soldiers are killed in an attack against an army base in Chinegod near the Mali border. IS takes on the deed. France promises to strengthen its presence in the Sahel region with over 200 soldiers, from today’s 4,500 men, to step up the fight against the jihadists.
Hundreds of refugees are arrested
Police arrest 335 Sudanese accused of burning down UN refugee camps in Agadez, northern Niger, in which they reside. Two people are reported injured. The city of Agadez is passed by many people who seek refuge from Africa to Europe and are a refuge for refugees from Libya. Around 1,400 Sudanese have fled Libya since 2017 and have been living in a camp outside Agadez ever since.