Tavie ® African Design

Niger, a ‘forgotten’ country

Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa, straddling the boundary between the Sahara and the Sahel. It is 27 x the size of The Netherlands and the largest state in West Africa but has a small population of only 12 million. It has borders with seven countries – Nigeria, Chad, Libya, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin. Two–thirds of the country is desert. Only the Niger River valley in the south-west (approximately 3% of the total area) allows for crop farming and provides seasonal pasture for cattle.
According to the UN, Niger is the poorest country in the world. Extreme droughts occur frequently in Niger. The north of the country is home to many Touareg families. Their culture abounds in symbolism and they live close to nature. The nomadic Touareg have always been the rulers and survivors of the Sahel region and have thorough knowledge of the Sahel and its many trade routes. They are very skilled craftsmen; their palm leaf and silverwork are unique and are held in high regard.
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