Niamey (French pronunciation: [njamɛ]) is the capital and largest city of Niger. Niamey lies on the Niger River, primarily situated on the east bank. Niamey's population was counted as 1,026,848 as of the 2012 census. As of 2017, population projections show the capital district growing at a slower rate than the country as a whole, which has the world's highest fertility rate.
|Region||Niamey Urban Community|
|Communes Urbaines||5 Communes|
|• Type||Appointed district government, elected city council, elected commune and quarter councils|
|• Mayor||Assane Seydou Sanda|
|• Total||239.30 km2 (92.39 sq mi)|
|Elevation||207 m (679 ft)|
| • Estimate |
(October 1, 2020)
|Niamey Urban Community|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (WAT)|
Niamey was probably founded in the 18th century and originated as a cluster of small villages (Gaweye, Kalley, Maourey, Zongo and Foulani Koira). Niamey was of little importance until the French developed it as a colonial centre in the late 1890s. The town, then with an estimated population of some 1,800, was chosen as the capital of the newly created Military Territory of Niger in 1905, however the capital was shifted to the more established city of Zinder in 1912. Zinder's proximity to the Nigerian border and distance from French-controlled ports prompted the French to move the capital back to Niamey in 1926, by which time the city had some 3,000 inhabitants. A series of devastating droughts prompted significant population growth during this period, and by 1945 the population was about 8,000.
At the time of independence in 1960 the population had grown to around 30,000. The period from 1970 to 1988 was one in which the economy of Niger boomed, driven by revenue from the uranium mines at Arlit. As a result, the population of Niamey grew from 108,000 to 398,365 inhabitants and the city expanded from 1,367 hectares (3,380 acres) in 1970 to 4,400 hectares (11,000 acres) by 1977, in the process annexing peripheral villages such as Lazaret. Continuing droughts also caused many rural Nigeriens to move to the growing city.
By some estimates the population had reached 700,000 in 2000. In 2011, government press estimated the total urban population at over 1.5 million. A major cause of the increase has been in migration for work and during droughts, as well a high population growth. This last factor means that demographically a majority of the city's citizens are young people.
The Niamey region straddles between the Liptako, corresponding to the northern extremity of the East ridge of Man, and the south-western edge of the Iullemmeden basin. Covering an area of over 250 km2 (97 sq mi), the metropolitan area sits atop two plateaux reaching 218 m (715 ft) in altitude, bisected by the Niger River. At Niamey, the river, running almost straight SSE from Gao, Mali, makes a series of wide bends. The city was founded on the east ("left bank") of the river as it meanders from a west to east flow to run almost directly south. A series of marshy islands begin at Niamey and extend south in the river.
The vast majority of the population and government and commercial buildings are located on the eastern bank of the river. The very centre of the centre contains a number of wide boulevards linking roundabouts. Two bridges connect the two sides - the Kennedy Bridge and the Friendship Bridge. The western bank area consists mainly of residential areas such as Gaweye, Saguia, Lamorde, Saga and Karadje, as well as Abdou Moumouni University.
The climate is hot semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSh), with an expected rainfall of between 500 mm (20 in) and 750 mm (30 in) a year, mostly beginning with a few storms in May, then transitioning to a rainy season, usually lasting from sometime in June to early September, when the rains taper off rather quickly. Most of the rainfall is from late June to mid-September. There is practically no rain from October to April. Niamey is remarkably hot throughout the year. In fact, it is one of the hottest major cities on the planet. Average monthly high temperatures reach 38 °C (100 °F) four months out of the year and in no month do average high temperatures fall below 32 °C (90 °F). During the dry season, particularly from November through February, nights are generally cool. Average nighttime lows between November and February range from 14–18 °C (57–64 °F).
|Climate data for Niamey, Niger (1961–1990, extremes: 1961–2015)|
|Record high °C (°F)||38.2
|Average high °C (°F)||32.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||24.3
|Average low °C (°F)||16.1
|Record low °C (°F)||12.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||0.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||0.0||0.0||0.2||0.8||2.9||5.9||9.9||12.2||7.4||1.6||0.1||0.0||41|
|Average relative humidity (%)||22||17||18||27||42||55||67||74||73||53||34||27||42|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||280||264||264||251||257||251||238||203||228||285||285||276||3,082|
|Source 1: Deutscher Wetterdienst|
|Source 2: Danish Meteorological Institute|
Niamey's population has grown exponentially since independence - the droughts of the early 1970s and 1980s, along with the economic crisis of the early 1980s, have propelled an exodus of rural inhabitants to Niger's largest city. Its population increased gradually, from about 3,000 in 1930 to about 30,000 in 1960, rising to 250,000 in 1980 and, according to the official statistics, to 800,000 in 2000. Under the military government of General Seyni Kountché, there were strict controls on residency and the government would regularly round up and "deport" those without permits back to their villages. The growing freedoms of the late 1980s and 1990s, along with the Tuareg Rebellion of the 1990s and famine in the 2000s, have reinforced this process of internal migration, with large informal settlements appearing on the outskirts of the city. Noticeable in the city's centre since the 1980s are groups of poor, young, or handicapped beggars. Within the richer or more trafficked neighbourhoods, these beggars have in fact formed a well-regulated hierarchical system in which beggars garner sadaka according to cultural and religious norms.
In the 1990s, the capital district population growth rate was lower than the torrid national rate, suggesting large rural migration (urbanization) was negligible in Niger, there is an undercount, and/or the government's forced urban to rural deportations were effective.
Culture and architectureEdit
A major attraction in the city is the Niger National Museum, which incorporates a zoo, a museum of vernacular architecture, a craft centre, and exhibits including dinosaur skeletons and the Tree of Ténéré. Other places of interest include the American, French and Nigerien cultural centres, seven major market centres (including the large Niamey Grand Market), a traditional wrestling arena and a horse racing track. Most of the colourful pottery sold in Niamey is hand made in the nearby village of Boubon.
Places of worshipEdit
Niger being a predominantly Muslim country, mosques are the most common places of worship, with the Grande Mosquée being the largest in the city. There are also various Christian churches, most notably Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral and the Cathedral de Maourey.
The city of Niamey itself is governed as an autonomous first-level administrative block, the Niamey Urban Community (Fr. Communauté Urbaine de Niamey, or CUN). It includes five Urban Communes, divided into 44 "Districts" and 99 "Quartiers", including formerly independent towns. It is a co-equal first division subdivision with the seven Regions of Niger. The Niamey Urban Community includes an administration and Governor appointed by national leaders. Like the rest of Niger, Niamey has seen a decentralisation of governance since 2000. Government Ordinance n°2010–56 and Presidential Decree n°2010-679 of September 2010 mandated an elected City Council for the city of Niamey, subsumed under the CUN. This excludes some outlying areas of the CUN. Forty-five councillors are popularly elected and in turn elect the Mayor of the City of Niamey. In July 2011 the first Mayor under the new system, Oumarou Dogari Moumouni, was installed by the Governor of the CUN Mrs. Aïchatou Boulama Kané and the City Council. The City Council and Mayor have limited roles compared to the CUN Governor. Niamey has a third layer of government in the Commune system. Each Commune elects its own council, and outside major cities, these function like independent cities. Niamey and other major cities have been, since the advent of decentralisation, developing co-ordination of Commune governments in large cities made up of multiple Communes.
Communes and quartersEdit
The CUN includes 99 quarters:
|Commune||Quarters||Map||City map with the 5 communes|
Niamey is served by the Diori Hamani International Airport, located 12 km southeast of the city and is crossed by the RN1 highway. Niamey railway station, officially inaugurated in April 2014, is the first one built in Niger. Boats are also used to travel the Niger River.
The city is also the site of the National School of Administration, Abdou Moumouni University, the Higher Institute of Mining, Industry and Geology which lies on the right bank of the river, and many institutes (Centre Numérique de Niamey, IRD, ICRISAT, Hydrologic Institute, etc.) Niamey hosts the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development.
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- Assane Seydou Sanda-elu-maire-de-la-ville-de-niamey&catid=34:actualites&Itemid=53 Installation du Conseil de ville de Niamey et élection des membres : M. Assane Seydou Sanda, élu maire de la ville de Niamey. Laouali Souleymane, Le Sahel (Niamey). 1 July 2011
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- According to Statsoid Archived 2009-07-24 at the Wayback Machine: "~1992: Tillabéry Region split from Niamey (whose FIPS code was NG05 before the change). Status of Niamey changed from Region to capital district."
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- "Klimatafel von Niamey (Aéro) / Niger" (PDF). Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
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- J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann, ‘‘Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices’’, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2010, p. 2103
- Haut Commissariat à la Réforme Administrative: loi N°2002-016 bis du 11 une 2002.
- (in French) Adamou Abdoulaye. Parcours migratoire des citadins et problème du logement à Niamey Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Département de Géographie, Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (2005).
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- FAO (2003), Section VI
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- (in French) "Inauguration of the first train station in Niamey" (Radio France Internationale)
- "A 80 Year-long Wait: Niger Gets its First Train Station" (Global Voices Online)
- "African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) - PreventionWeb.net". www.preventionweb.net.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Niamey.|
- Niamey travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Niger Assemblee Nationale official website
- Mission of Niger to the United Nations official website
- BBC News Country Profile – Niger
- CIA World Factbook – Niger
- Niger at Curlie
- US State Department – Niger includes Background Notes, Country Commercial Guides and major reports