KfW Development Bank promotes its programmes at Festival of the Nomads in Niger
News from 2019-10-24 / KfW Development Bank
Every year in mid-September, 900 kilometres from the Nigerien capital of Niamey, the town of In-Gall plays host to the Cure Salée (“Salt Cure”) festival. The event at the end of the rainy season is a gathering point for pastoralists from Tuareg and Fulani clans, who bring their goats, sheep, cattle and camels to graze on the salt-rich plains at In-Gall. The Festival of the Nomads gives its guests the chance to meet up, sing songs, perform dances and race camels. Weddings are arranged and celebrated, but the festivities are also an opportunity for visitors – and their livestock – to get vaccinated against various diseases.
This year, it was possible to learn more about German development cooperation programmes at the festival. The German ambassador in Niamey, Hermann Nicolai, also accepted the government of Niger’s invitation to attend. Representatives from project partners and Nigerien colleagues from GIZ and KfW showcased their work at a 150-metre-long series of stands. Reflecting on the stands’ appeal to visitors, Nicolai explains: “Even in a nomadic society that has almost no access to the Internet, you can still do good public outreach work. We do so by providing a good number of photos and, most importantly, by having well-trained KfW and GIZ staff from Niger start conversations with the visitors to our stands – most of whom are illiterate.”
Per capita, commitments from German development cooperation in Niger are now higher than in any other African country, especially in the areas of rural development, decentralisation/employment promotion and healthcare.
For instance, the Programme for Promotion of Education and Employment involves labour-intensive projects to build schools, markets, bus stations and warehouses. The population of all the municipalities in the region benefits from rural roads and trails.
Implementing vaccination programmes is not the only work performed during the festival – information about HIV/AIDS is also provided. In the context of family planning and public information, KfW Development Bank supports the work of Animas Sutura, an NGO that works to spread awareness and supply condoms to members of high-risk groups such as migrants, long-distance lorry drivers, prostitutes and soldiers. There are also specialised contraception and family planning awareness campaigns being carried out at schools and across various media.