Niger, "a vast, arid state on the edge of the Sahara desert, Niger endured austere military rule for much of its post-independence history and is rated by the UN as one of the world's least-developed nations."
It was a colony of France from 1922 until independence in 1960. Military coups occurred between 1974 and 1999, after which free elections restored democracy. The falling price of uranium, its main export, along with drought and increasing desertification, is hurting the economy of this poor nation. 
- The state controls much of the nation's broadcasting, though private radio stations have proliferated. Radio France Internationale operates FM relays in the capital Niamey, and in Maradi and Zinder provinces. BBC World Service is available on FM in the capital and in Zinder.
- Mamadou Tandja, President, elected first in 1999, took part in a coup of an elected government in 1974.
Related SourceWatch articles
- Niger, The World Factbook, CIA.gov website.
- Background Note: Niger, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, July 2005.
- Niger and the WTO, World Trade Organization website.
- Niger, Lonely Planet website.
- Niger, The Africa Guide.
- A Virtual Guide to Niger, Nations Online.org website.
- Niger in the Wikipedia.
- David Loyn, "Niger's people living on the edge", BBC, July 30, 2005.