(A GLOBAL DOCUMENTARY TO INSPIRE WORLD TRAVEL)
BAWN-(Niger, West Africa) is officially located the Republic of the Niger, a remote Region in West Africa named after the Niger River. Niger is bordered by Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, Nigeria to the south, Benin to the southwest, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, and Algeria to the northwest.
Niger covers a land area of almost 1,270,000 km2 (490,000 sq mi), making it the largest country in West Africa.
Over 80% of its land area lies in the Sahara Desert. The country’s predominantly Islamic population of about 21 million live mostly in clusters in the far south and west of the country. The capital city is Niamey, located in Niger’s southwest corner
“Obtaining a visa was difficult as there’s no Nigerien embassy in Britain or the Netherlands, and I had no real chance to go to Paris to get one. Dan Baba offered the solution. I was invited to Niger by the Secretary-General of the Nigerien FA and obtained the required visa on entry to Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey.”
Modernization and Globalization
The economy of Niger centers on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world’s largest uranium deposits. Drought cycles, desertification, a 2.9% population growth rate, and the drop in world demand for uranium have undercut the economy. The Downtown Metropolitan Area Niger is Niamey
Niger was part of the battle against the al-Qaeda affiliated insurgency in Mali – a battle that spilled over Niger’s northern border into the landlocked African nation from Libya. Nicolás Sarkozy and David Cameron’s gloated, along with Hilary Clinton, when Muammar Gaddafi was killed in 2011, but their desire for regime change without caring what regime it would be, opened the door to the chaos that followed – a chaos that Niger and Mali in particular are paying the price.
To prevent the narrative as being reported in Niger is one-sided. Niger was hosting a sporting tournament, the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations. I decided to see it for myself, my curiosity aroused by having met two wonderful people, Mohamed Chegga, the President of AS Sonidep, and the President of ASFAN, Lieutenant-Colonel Tahirou Dan Baba Abdelkader, in Zambia when Sonidep faced Zesco United in Ndola, Zambia last December.
I soon found that Nigeriens could not do enough to help – they are among the nicest people you could meet. I don’t doubt that areas of Niger are dangerous – they have made dangerous, but let’s be honest about this. Ordinary Nigeriens bear the brunt of the terrorist attacks and crime that became the convenient excuse to classify Niger as dangerous.
There’s next to no assistance to tackle the problems Niger faces, and I suspect that’s deliberate. How can Niger develop without aid and assistance? Will it ever be allowed to benefit from its natural resources? Not without developing the means to exploit these resources for themselves and their benefit, and how can that happen without making it safe to visit and enjoy? This is what Niger needs to tackle the grinding poverty you see every time you move around. You can’t feed or help everyone. Many of the beggars are young females, carrying babies. Give them coins or notes today – what about tomorrow?
The change of regime saw Libya turn into a failed state rapidly. There was no exit plan, and many of the weapons supplied to Anti-Gaddafi insurgents were the same ones used to spread terror in Mali and then Niger too – western supplied ones. And the failure to deal with Boko Haram has affected the south of Niger too, as the ISIS affiliated terrorists from Northern Nigeria target Niger’s south and other neighbors too.
The Foreign Office and also western governments advise their nationals not to travel to Niger, and if they must, then only do so if its urgent. This country, they say, is dangerous. Parts of it undoubtedly are, but there’s more to it than the simplistic view. Western governments – any, in fact – must protect the interests of their citizens. That’s normal, but still Niger deserves better, far better.
Feature Photo: saltandlighttv.org
Satish C. Sekar is an Internationally renown British Author and Journalist, and a consultant in forensic evidence. As Founder of the Fitted In Project Sekar has specialized in the investigation of miscarriages of justice. His work has been published in newspapers including The Guardian, The Independent and Private Eye, and he has also worked for television documentaries including Panorama and Trial And Error. He has worked on a number of high-profile cases in the UK including the Cardiff Three and more. For more information on
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