Niger is a country rich in mineral resources; its exports mainly include uranium and petroleum. Agriculture also offers development potential. Eight out of ten people in the African landlocked country make their living in the agricultural sector.
Despite its many challenges, the government formed after the country’s first democratic change of power in 2021 is determined to implement reforms. Current priorities include decentralisation to enhance development in villages and cities, and the promotion of education and job creation to combat poverty and to secure the stability of the country.
The strong population growth in Niger can hardly be matched by that of any other country. More frequent droughts and severe flooding as well as the socio-economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic are putting a strain on the country. The fragile security situation in the Sahel region only serves to exacerbate the refugee problem in the region.
Agriculture suffers from a lack of irrigation, with most rain water simply going to waste.
In many communities, there is not only a lack of water supply, but also basic infrastructure. People there have no or only very limited access to wells, primary schools, markets or health centres. Lack of the latter leads to poor health care and a high mortality rate, especially among mothers and children.
These are the areas in which KfW Development Bank is supporting the country on behalf of the Federal Government:
In the context of decentralisation, the municipalities are assigned new tasks that need to be funded. At present, municipalities are unable to provide sufficient or high-quality public services. KfW Development Bank supports the government of Niger and the country’s municipalities on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in three regions. For example, it is financing the building of schools, markets and health centres, as well as reservoirs and wells.
Agriculture in Niger could be significantly more productive than it is at present. This is mainly due to a lack of infrastructure for water storage and irrigation.
In the Agadez, Tahoua and Tillabéri regions, KfW is promoting the construction of small-scale irrigation systems that can be used to store rainfall with dams. As a result, water is available all year round, so that vegetables and grains can also be grown during the dry season and water is available for livestock farming.
The mortality rate in Niger among mothers and infants is among the highest in the world. KfW is therefore promoting the expansion and restructuring of rural health centres in Niger and is financing a “health fund” which will reimburse women for basic health services. KfW also supports awareness-raising measures in primary and secondary schools through a Nigerien non-governmental organisation to promote family planning and combat early marriage.
By financing municipal infrastructure, KfW supports the municipalities throughout Niger in fulfilling their responsibilities and providing citizens with basic services in areas such as health and education. The sustainable development of agriculture is helping to feed the growing population.
KfW Office Niamey
Director KfW Office: Kerstin Laabs
Phone: +227 20 73 93 06
Fax: +227 20 73 27 02