Everything you need to know about Niger's economy and money

Niger, a landlocked country in West Africa, faces a complex economic landscape due to its heavy reliance on the livestock sector and agricultural activities.

Recently, the country has faced economic challenges, including a coup in 2023, which led to sanctions and slowed economic growth.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of Niger's economy, analyzing key sectors, natural resources, challenges and future prospects.

1- GDP of Niger

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, facing challenges such as minimal government services, inadequate funding for development and recurring climate shocks.

According to World Bank data, Niger's GDP is set to reach approximately $15.34 billion in 2022., Niger ranks 133rd in the GDP classification of 196 countries.

The country's per capita GDP is expected to reach $608 in 2022, which is $17 more than in 2021.

Niger ranks 186th in the world in the ranking of countries according to GDP per capita. According to this criterion, its population is among the poorest among the 196 countries that publish their GDP.

The government is attempting to diversify the economy by increasing oil production and mining projects. However, challenges remain, including a 3.6% population growth rate, the country's declining global demand for uranium, and the impact of climate shocks on pastoralists, one of the most vulnerable populations.

2- The most important property in Niger

  • Animal

Livestock is the cornerstone of Niger's economy, generating approximately 14% of GDP annually and supporting 29% of the population.

Despite its importance, the sector faces challenges such as drought, pests and diseases, leading to significant losses during times of environmental stress. At a time when it is practiced more than 87% of the population Livestock rearing activities.

According to the country's Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the total number of livestock species (except poultry) was estimated at 50.5 million heads in 2019. The value of livestock in Niger is estimated to exceed 4 trillion West African francs (FCFA) (approximately $7 billion).

  • agricultural property

Agriculture is the lifeline for about 80% of Niger's population of 17.8 million, producing 4.5 million tonnes of crops annually.

Millet, sorghum, rice, onion, cowpea, groundnut, sweet potato and cotton are the main crops.

Millet, a staple food, covers 80% of the agricultural area, while onion is a profitable cash crop in the country.

3- Natural resources in Niger

  • uranium

Niger is the world's fourth largest uranium producer, accounting for more than 70% of its exports. Its extraction is dominated by French companies, with the Imorarin mine containing significant reserves.

Niger's uranium production was approximately 4,821 tonnes in 2012, and is expected to reach 2,020 tonnes of uranium in 2022, equivalent to 5% of global production.

According to international economic reports, uranium contributes less than 10% to GDP. It ranks second in Niger's exports after gold.

Uranium was discovered in the Azilika region in Niger in the late 1950s. Subsequently, more uranium was discovered in Madawela, Imorarin and Tasa.

Official sources in Niger say the Imorarin mine – the largest mine – contains more than 100 million tonnes of metal.

According to a Reuters report, French companies continued to monopolize the Nigerian uranium mining concession, and the “Urano” company is considered to own the concession, and the “Sorim” company and the “Submine” company operate with it.

In addition to French companies, there are other Canadian, African and Chinese companies.

The most famous mining sites are:

  1. Arlit is located in the north-west of the country and there are several open-pit mining sites near the city.
  2. The Akuta mine, located near Akukan, southwest of Arlit, produced 75,000 metric tons of uranium from 1978 to March 2021, when it was closed after its ore reserves were exhausted.
  3. Imorarin mine: Located about 50 miles south of Arlit, on one of the world's largest deposits, according to Ourano. Permission to operate the mine was granted in 2009, but work on operating the mine was suspended in 2014 until uranium prices improved.
  • Sleep

Gold deposits have been found in the south-western region of Niger and more recently in the northern region of Agadez. The country's first commercial gold mining began in 2004 at the Samira Hill gold mine operated by Liptaco Mining Company, a joint venture between the government and two Canadian companies.

The discovery of another commercially viable gold deposit in the Agadez region in 2014 enhanced Niger's potential as one of Africa's leading gold producers.

The Samira Hill mine is considered one of the most important gold mines in Niger. It was opened in 2004 and is located in the Tira area within the Tillaberi region.

In 2014, new reserves of gold in commercial quantities were discovered in the “Gado” area, 700 kilometers from Agadez, and in the “Ebel” mountain area, 360 kilometers from Agadez, and work has not yet started on both of these sites. Has happened.

According to the Rare Gold website, potential areas include the Koma Bango field, which has gold reserves that the government considers commercially unviable, and the Irmasif field, where GeoAfrica has a gold exploration license.

According to World Gold Council data, Niger's production is expected to reach 34.5 tonnes of gold in 2022.

  • Iron and Phosphate

Niger has large reserves:

  1. Iron ore (9.2 billion tonnes)
  2. Phosphate (1.225 billion tonnes)
  • Oil and Natural Gas

Niger has huge oil reserves. Oil was first discovered in the Tantoma and Agadim fields, and figures from Savannah International Energy Company suggest that the field may contain at least one billion barrels of oil.

Most of the oil extracted in Niger is processed at the Suraj Refinery. The current production capacity of oil in Niger is 20 thousand barrels per day, and it is mainly sold locally, with some also exported to northern Nigeria.

Most of Niger's identified reserves are located in the Agadem field, which currently supplies about 15,000 barrels of oil per day to the Souraj refinery.

Some energy companies estimate 3,754 million barrels of oil reserves and 957 million barrels of recoverable oil reserves.

According to data from the Ministry of Minerals in Niger, current gas reserves are estimated at about 34 billion cubic metres, including extractable reserves of 24 billion cubic metres.

3- Who benefits from Niger's wealth?

France maintained a monopoly on uranium extraction in Niger. According to several reports, initially the percentage that Niger would receive was no more than 5%.

After protests from citizens and some political forces, Niger's share was reduced to 15%.

Reports also confirm that France extracted an estimated 110 tonnes between 1971 and 2012, meeting 35% of France's electricity needs.

Despite the vast resources possessed by the country, the Human Development Report released by the United Nations classifies Niger as the poorest country in the world with a gross per capita national income of $608 in 2023.

According to World Bank data, 44.5% of Niger's population lives in extreme poverty, and public debt stands at 45%, and approximately 173 humanitarian organizations provide multi-sector emergency assistance throughout the country, including in hard-to-reach areas. United Nations.

4- Economic trends in Niger after the coup

After the coup of July 26, 2023, Niger's economy initially faced great difficulties due to its weakness and the fallout from the coup due to several factors:

  • ECOWAS sanctions:The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed harsh economic sanctions on Niger in the wake of the coup. These sanctions have significantly affected the country's ability to access international financial markets and conduct banking transactions.
  • cuts in international aid: Major partners such as the European Union stopped their support soon after the coup. The EU had allocated $554 million for development projects in Niger between 2021 and 2024. Washington also suspended most support programs, with an estimated value of about $500 million. million, and thus the reduction in budget support affected the country's ability to implement its budget and development projects.

According to the African Bank, overall, Niger's GDP was expected to grow by 11% in 2023, but officials concerned about the coup and subsequent sanctions were expected to grow by no more than 2.3%, and thus about one million people in sanctions. Will be included in the list of extreme poverty.

5-Future expectations for Niger's economy

Transitional authorities in Niger halted exports of gold and uranium to France as punishment following the July 26, 2023 coup. French companies had been extracting Nigerian uranium since the 1970s, and the first obvious change was the large difference in the price of uranium, since the price of one kilogram was equal to $0.8, and after sales to France were stopped it became…200.

According to several reports, French companies were selling it for $200 per kilo, while Niger got only $11 of its price.

According to global economic forecasts, Niger's economy will become the fourth most developed global economy in 2024, and will rank first in Africa in terms of growth rate.

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