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HomeCountriesWest Africa › Niger

Niger Country AET Profile

About Niger

The educational system is patterned on that of France, but changes are gradually being introduced to adapt the curriculum to local needs and traditions. Programs aim at expanding the educational system in order to reduce the adult illiteracy rate, which in the year 2000 still stands at 84.3% (males 76.5%; females, 91.7%). As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 2.7% of GDP.

In 1991–92, 4,513 students were enrolled in institutions of higher education, with 232 teachers. In 1963, the National School of Administration was founded in Niamey. The University of Niamey, founded in 1973, has schools of the sciences, letters, education, mathematics, agriculture, health, economics, and social sciences. The Islamic University of West Africa at Say, mostly financed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, was inaugurated in 1987.

Although only 2.8% of Niger's area is cultivated, farmers increased their production following the 1968–75 drought, and in 1980, the country became self-sufficient in food crops. The most plentiful rains in 30 years fell during the 1992–1993 season, pushing agricultural production up by 64%. Irrigation and off-season farming projects are of keen interest to the government and foreign donors. During 1990–2000, agricultural production grew by an annual average of 3.2%. Almost 95% of the active population is engaged in crop cultivation or animal husbandry. Agricultural techniques are still rudimentary; there are a few tractors in use (only 130 in 1998), and most farmers do not keep draft animals. Very little fertilizer is used. Irrigated land in 1998 totaled about 66,000 hectares (163,100 acres). Only 12% of Niger's total land area, located along the southern border, is potentially useful for rainfed cultivation. Over 95% of agriculture is on farms of less than five hectares (12 acres), with the average about three hectares (7.5 acres). Production of millet, the staple food of most of the people, depends heavily on rainfall.

Institutions in Niger

Reports on Niger
Niger - Current Student Enrolment and Academic Staffing



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