Preface Last Updated: 2/24/2005 8:19 AM
Bienvenue à Niamey! You'll soon see that Niamey is one of the
most exotic capitals in Africa. Camels are spotted daily, carrying a
jostled rider, bundles of firewood, or piles of straw matting. The
inhabitants are diverse--coastal West Africans, Tuaregs (the famed
blue men of the desert), Arab traders, Hausa, Djerma, Songhi, and
Peul, and all can be seen as you drive the short distance from home
to the office. Around town, traffic is light by West African
standards. Most newcomers are surprised by how green the city and
countryside can become in the rainy season. In the evening, you can
pull up a seat on the terrace of the Grand Hotel overlooking the
river, sip a cool drink, and watch the sun sink colorfully below the
horizon. Getting out of the city is easy, too, and there are ample
opportunities for day trips: picnicking along the Niger River;
looking for giraffes just outside of town; or camping at the Park
"W" Wildlife Preserve--home to elephants, lions, buffalo, antelope,
and exotic birds less than 3 hours away.
The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 2/24/2005 8:29 AM
The Republic of Niger covers 1,267,000 square kilometers (490,000
square miles) and is larger than Texas and California combined.
Landlocked, it is bordered by seven countries—Algeria and Libya to
the north, Chad to the east, Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina
Faso to the southwest, and Mali to the west. Niger is in the heart
of the Sahel, the transitional zone between the tropical West
African coast and the Sahara Desert. Northern Niger is part of the
Sahara, with vast expanses of rocky and sandy wilderness broken only
by occasional oases. "Sahel" in Arabic means "border." From
north-central Niger to its northeast corner are the Air and Djado
Mountains with peaks rising to 1,850 meters (6,000 feet) while
partially arable savanna is found south of the 15th parallel.
Niger's capital city, Niamey, sits on the banks of the Niger
River, which flows through much of West Africa and is the 12th
longest river in the world and the third-longest in Africa.
Niamey's climate varies with distinct seasons. April and May are
the hottest months, with noontime temperatures often rising above
48°C (118°F) in the shade. Direct sunlight is intense during this
period, and at night temperatures remain above 20°C (80°F). In May,
the first rains come to the usually parched landscape and with them
the planting of millet and sorghum, the major food crops. Niamey
gets on average 55.8 centimeters (22 inches) of rainfall between
June and September, normally in short torrential downpours preceded
by high winds and dust or sand storms. At this time, the surrounding
countryside takes on a verdant hue as the crops and the native
grasses begin to grow. The rainy season is followed by a short
period of hot, humid weather in October during which temperatures
range between 15°C (60°F) and 45°C (112°F).
From November to March, the weather is dry and pleasant. During
this season, clear days are interspersed with hazy, overcast skies
caused by the "harmattan"--a hot, dry wind carrying dust from the
Sahara. Normally, the winds stay at high altitudes, creating
slightly overcast skies; the harmattan, however, occasionally causes
localized dust storms.
Population Last Updated: 2/24/2005 8:28 AM
An estimated 11 million people live in Niger. The Hausa, whose
territory extends into northern Nigeria, predominate in the central
portion of the country and are about 56% of Niger's population. They
are mainly traders and farmers. The Djerma, who are 22% of the
population, are traditionally farmers. They are an ethnic sub-group
of the Songhai people, whose great kingdom in the 14th and 15th
centuries embraced what is now eastern Mali and western Niger.
Because Niger's capital city is in their homeland, the Djerma
influence has been strong in the central government, especially
since independence. The Fulanis (called Peuls in French) and Tuaregs,
who are typically nomadic or semi-nomadic herders, and the Beri-Beri
(also known as Kanuri) who are found in the Lake Chad Region, are
the next largest population groups. The remainder of the population
is composed of Arabs, Tubu, and Gourmantche.
About 90% of Nigeriens live within 161 kilometers (100 miles) of
the country's southern border. In addition to Niamey, four cities
have populations over 50,000--Maradi and Zinder, both close to the
southern border, as well as Agadez and Tahoua, both in the north.
Most Nigeriens live in rural areas away from good roads and almost
90% are subsistence farmers who grow millet and sorghum for food and
peanuts, cotton, and cowpeas as cash crops.
Although French is the official and administrative language,
Hausa is more widely spoken throughout the country, as it is the
first language of over half the population. English is a required
language in secondary schools, and some Nigeriens speak English
functionally well; however, French is necessary for shopping, social
life, and most professional contacts. Oftentimes, a little knowledge
of Djerma, even the most basic of greetings, goes a long way in the
Niamey markets as this is the traditional language of many of the
farmers who bring their produce to sell. Temasheq is the language of
the Tuareg and is the prevalent language spoken in the northern
portions of the country, near Agadez.
The majority of Nigeriens are Sunni Moslem and religion is a
dominant force in their daily lives. A sense of tradition, fatalism,
strong family connections, consideration, and tolerance for others
characterize the typical Nigerien's approach to the world. Polygamy
is widely practiced and families are generally large. In spite of
the high infant mortality rate (248/1,000) and low average life
expectancy (46 years), Niger's population is growing at almost 3% a
year. Less than 1% of the population is Christian, and the remainder
follows traditional religions.
Public Institutions Last Updated: 2/25/2005 4:47 AM
Niger is a republic that returned to democracy in 1999, following
coups d'etat in 1996 and 1999, and continued efforts to consolidate
a democratic system and a constitutional government. On December 4,
2004, Tandja Mamadou was elected to his second 5-year presidential
term with 65 percent of the vote in an election that international
observers called generally free and fair. Four parties joined the
ruling coalition of the National Movement for the Development of
Society (MNSD) and the Democratic and Socialist Convention (CDS) to
win 88 of the 113 seats in the National Assembly. On December 24,
Tandja re-appointed MNSD party president Hama Amadou as Prime
The government maintains and promotes an open economic system,
has a free-trade policy, and welcomes foreign investment. Beginning
in 1998, several previously government-owned industrial enterprises
and utilities—also known as "parastatals"—have been privatized and
more privatization should occur in the coming years. One of the
government's most important aims is to stimulate economic growth by
attracting foreign investments. Although donor organizations
provided most of the capital budget in the past, private sector
financing is increasingly sought, especially in the mining sector.
Numerous development projects are funded by multilateral and
bilateral donors, including the World Bank and the African
Development Bank, and all the United Nations agencies, such as UNDP
and UNICEF, as well as foreign assistance from the U.S., France, the
European Economic Community (EEC), Germany, and other countries.
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 2/24/2005 8:51 AM
Niger is a culturally rich society, but French is often required
to fully partake in this cultural richness. All Embassy employees
and their dependents are encouraged to participate in the Embassy's
French language program.
The Centre Culturel Franco-Nigerien and the Centre Culturel
Oumara Ganda both sponsor a variety of African cultural activities,
including wrestling, dancing, films by local and international
filmmakers, concerts and art exhibits. The Musée National du Niger
offers a diverse array of exhibits from handicrafts, weapons, and
costumes of the different ethnic groups, to palaeontological
treasures discovered in the northern portion of the country, to a
small zoo. The Musée‚ also houses an artisans' centre, where you can
see how the various crafts from different ethnic groups are made.
Best known, perhaps, is the art and craftwork of the Tuareg,
especially their silverwork. Other artisans specialize in wood
carvings, leatherwork, embroidery, batik and brightly colored Djerma
cloth. Islam's influence can be seen at the Grande Mosquée, which is
open to visitors.
The University of Niamey offers a wide variety of educational
opportunities to Nigeriens. The University does, however, suffer
from budgetary constraints, and classes are sometimes canceled.
Private entities also offer post-secondary education or adult
training, mainly in agriculture-related areas. Ties exist between
the University of Niamey and Penn State, North Carolina and Boston
universities to facilitate the exchange of professors and students.
A few Arabic countries also finance Islamic schools. There are
numerous public and secondary schools throughout the country, but
only 30% of grade school-aged children and less than 20% of young
girls attend school regularly. The government is working to increase
girls' attendance in primary school.
The American School of Niamey (ASN) is accredited by the Middle
States Association of Colleges and Schools and maintains membership
in the Association of International Schools in Africa. At the
beginning of the 2004-2005 school year, enrollment was 44 students
ranging from pre-kindergarten through grade 8. Students come from 10
different countries. U.S. Correspondence study courses are available
for high-school students upon request. The curriculum is similar to
those of U.S. public schools. Instruction is in English, but all
grades receive significant French-language instruction. Some parents
send their children to Lycée Lafontaine, a French primary/secondary
school. Ecole Alliance and Petit Pas are popular pre-schools of
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 2/24/2005 8:59 AM
Niger's industry and commerce sector makes up only 6% of the
national economy. The uranium industry generates substantial
employment and revenue for the government, but it has few linkages
with the rest of the economy. Modern production facilities are
concentrated in Niamey and in Arlit, the uranium-producing area.
State-owned or recently privatized manufacturing companies produce
cloth, dairy products, soaps, perfumes, biscuits, and beer. The
largest industrial entity is the electric company. Niger has sizable
coal reserves that suggest potential for further electrical
generation; however, this option has not yet been explored. Talented
artisans produce mats, baskets, pottery goods, furniture, farm
tools, leather goods, and are known especially for their silver
jewelry. Artisanal production takes place throughout the country.
Trade, especially long-distance trade, is the traditional route
to wealth in Niger. Trading opportunities today are in the
importation of manufactured goods from Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire,
Europe, and Asia and in the exportation of cloth, unprocessed
agricultural products, and livestock to neighboring countries. Since
the devaluation of the CFA franc between 1994-1998, trade statistics
show gains for Niger's agricultural products, especially cattle, in
Foreign corporations, most of which are French, participate in
mining operations. Uranium mining represents Niger's one industry of
international importance and its top foreign exchange earner.
Declining world demand, however, has reduced revenue from uranium
mining to half of what it was in the peak year of 1983. As a
consequence, other sectors like banking, construction and
transportation, which are largely dependent on the profits once
generated by uranium, also remain severely depressed.
Retail trade in Niamey is concentrated in two public markets:
private shops in the central section of town, and shops in
residential areas. Fresh food products are sold at retail at a
public, open-air market called the "Petit Marché" (Little Market).
Other consumer goods are sold at an enclosed market, the "Grand
Marché" (Big Market), where private traders rent stalls or shops. A
wide variety of products, from TVs to matches, are sold in central
Niamey. Markets outside Niamey are generally held weekly and are
places where local agricultural products and livestock are exchanged
for food, clothing, household supplies, and cash.
The economic system is completely open to foreign trade and
foreign investment. There are proven oil reserves and several
concessions have been granted. Food drying or other food processing
is mostly an untapped market, particularly for onions, tomatoes,
peppers and fruits as well as processing of peanuts and sesame for
oil. Light manufacturing has become more competitive by devaluation
of the CFA franc, which has halved the cost of local inputs,
About 90% of Niger's population earn their living in agricultural
pursuits. Productivity and incomes are low, even by African
standards, and most households can barely afford to satisfy basic
needs. The market for more expensive consumer goods is limited to
the higher salaried civil servants, a small class of Nigerien
entrepreneurs, and the foreign community residents concentrated in
Niamey. The high prices of most imported consumer goods, reflecting
high transportation costs and import duties, put them out of reach
for most Nigerien households. There are substantial seasonal and
local variations in prices, especially for food items. Even with the
high prices, Niger has maintained the West African Economic and
Monetary Union (WAEMU) and Bretton Woods Institutions' target rate
of a 3% annual economic growth rate since January 1998.
Automobiles Last Updated: 2/25/2005 4:54 AM
Most Americans feel a private car is a must to get to and from
work, shop, attend social functions, and for trips outside Niamey.
It is the Mission's policy to provide official vehicles to employees
for transportation to and from work only while the employee's
vehicle is en route. If you plan to make extensive trips out of
Niamey, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is strongly recommended. The post
is allowed shipment of foreign cars on travel orders. Used cars may
be found locally, but the post does not recommend this as a primary
source for a vehicle, as the choice is limited and availability is
erratic. If you import a luxury 4x4 such as a Toyota Land Cruiser,
we recommend selecting some color other than white. Although car
theft is rare in Niamey, white Toyota Land Cruisers have been
targeted. A different color vehicle would be more noticeable to
police in tracking a reported theft, and thus might deter theft.
Repainting can be done locally.
Most passenger cars in Niamey are European or Japanese makes with
Peugeot and Toyota being the most popular models. Some Peugeot,
Toyota, Chrysler, and Jeep dealers in Niamey have reasonable stocks
of spare parts. Except for Chrysler and Jeep, few American passenger
cars are found in Niger, and spare parts for these vehicles must
come from the U.S. Regular 87-octane gasoline is available for
purchase but lead-free gasoline is not; therefore, it is recommended
that you have the catalytic converter professionally disabled prior
to shipment if you plan eventually to take the vehicle back to the
Except for major routes that are paved, roads are rough and
dusty. For basic driving in Niamey, a regular car works fine, but
heavy-duty suspension is recommended. Air-conditioning is considered
a necessity because of blowing sand and intense heat. Bring basic
tools and spare parts. A service manual is helpful as well. Avoid
plastic seat covers.
Members of government agencies (State and DOD, but not Peace
Corps) are allowed to import one car per employee per tour, duty
free. If additional vehicles are required, employees may import the
vehicle(s), but will be required to pay import duty. The second
vehicle(s) will be registered with non-diplomatic license plates.
In accordance with local law, post policy requires all drivers to
have third-party liability insurance that must be obtained from a
local insurance company. This costs about $120 per year. You may
obtain full comprehensive insurance coverage from a local company as
well, but it is expensive and you would do better through a U.S.
A Nigerien or international driver's license is required. An
international driver's license is respected by the GON, and should
be obtained before arrival at post for all family members who drive.
Otherwise, drivers must turn in their valid U.S. driver's license to
the Foreign Ministry, which issues a Nigerien driver's license, and
then keeps the U.S. driver's license for the duration of the
employee's tour. This becomes awkward for those needing the U.S.
license when on R&R or away from post for any reason. When traveling
to the U.S., the Ministry will, upon request, return the license.
Obtaining the license also requires three photos, a translation of
the U.S. license, an official letter stating the necessity of the
license, a copy of the owner's passport, and payment of a fee (about
Local Transportation Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Private taxis in Niamey are numerous and inexpensive, but most
American Mission personnel are urged not to use them, due to safety
and security issues. There is also a long-distance bus system that
services main routes that is used only by the locals and by the
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 2/25/2005 4:57 AM
International flights are available to some of the capitals of
neighboring Francophone countries and to Paris. Niamey is a 6-hour
flight from Paris. Currently, the major foreign flag airlines
servicing Niamey are Air Burkina, Air Senegal, Air France, and Royal
Air Maroc. Air travel is expensive in Africa—a ticket from Niamey to
Paris costs about 50% more than a ticket from Paris to New York.
Currently, no scheduled local air service to Niger's major cities is
available. Local missionary groups and companies do have charter
flights to Agadez, and space is occasionally available.
Niger's road network, totaling about 8,000 kilometers, is still
rudimentary and the country has about 2,500 kilometers of paved
interurban roads. In the cities (Niamey included), the main roads
are paved, but the majority of the residential roads are dirt; both
are full of potholes. Very few of the roads are marked by any sort
of a road sign. A paved road extends West-East from Tillaberi
through Niamey to Nguigmi, near Lake Chad. The main road from Niamey
to the Burkina Faso border was newly paved in 2004 and is one of the
better, well traveled routes. However, from Niamey to the Burkina
border, and from Niamey to the Benin border, the main road is
heavily pockmarked and it is impossible to drive faster than 45mph
without risking serious damage to the vehicle. A second major paved
road links Niamey through Agadez to the uranium-mining region of
Arlit. Stretches of washboard surfaces alternate with drifted sand
and dirt, and some sections are inaccessible during part of the
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 1/21/2004 9:17 AM
Niamey has adequate telephone, telegraph, and fax facilities.
Direct dialing is possible from Niamey to Europe, the U.S., and
other parts of Africa (excluding 800 numbers and collect calls), but
it is very expensive. A direct-dial call from the U.S. to Niger is
less than half the cost of a call the other way around. Individuals
coming to post should explore U.S. dial-back telephone services. All
Embassy-leased houses have telephones.
Internet Last Updated: 1/21/2004 9:20 AM
The Embassy and Public Diplomacy are connected to OpenNet+ and
service is fast, reliable and secure. Local internet service is slow
at best, especially during peak hours of usage (Monday through
Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The parastatal Internet company has
been unable to keep up with an extraordinary increase in demand for
service. The fastest connection (up to 33.6) can be achieved between
midnight and 7:00 a.m. and on the weekends. The cost for the service
is per minute. For the average user, monthly bills will range from
$40 to $70. The start-up fee is approximately $20.
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 2/25/2005 5:02 AM
Incoming air pouch service from Washington is scheduled twice a
week --Monday and Friday. Outgoing pouch to Washington is scheduled
twice a week-- Wednesday and Friday. Letter mail, bearing U.S.
postage, is accepted by the Department of State for air pouch
delivery to post. You may use the pouch for outgoing letters to be
placed in the U.S. postal system, after affixing appropriate U.S.
postage at the first-class rate. Service can take up to three weeks
each way for both enveloped and packaged mail. Bring extra stamps to
post. Use the following address for air pouch service:
Name 2420 Niamey Place Dulles, VA 20189-2420
Direct-hire U.S. personnel may receive packages weighing less
than 50 pounds via surface-to-air pouch. These packages should not
exceed 17x18 x32 inches. The only packages that may be sent from
post to the U.S. through the State Department pouch system are
clothing being returned for exchange or refund (which was purchased
after arrival at post and was not part of your HHE), a maximum of
two video tapes at one time, exposed rolls of camera film, and
medical items, such as prescription eyeglasses. All employees should
familiarize themselves with "6 FAM" (Foreign Affairs Manual 6) to
avoid violating pouch regulations.
American contract personnel may send and receive only first-class
enveloped mail weighing up to one pound. Two pounds of project
materials may be received if the envelope is marked "Project
Material." No merchandise, magazines, or periodicals may be received
or sent by contract personnel.
APO facilities are not available in Niamey. International airmail
letters to or from the U.S. East coast take 6-10 days. You can use
international parcel post for packages and magazines, and although
it can sometimes take months, the service is generally reliable. For
express and direct mail use the following international address:
Name American Embassy Rue des Ambassades B. P. 11201 Niamey,
Niger West Africa
Radio and TV Last Updated: 2/25/2005 5:02 AM
Radio Niger (ORTN) broadcasts in French and in local languages
(primarily Hausa and Djerma) from morning to night on four channels,
medium and short wave. Reception of Voice of America (VOA) and the
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is also good. Three private
stations, Afrique Numero Un, and Radio France International (RFI) on
FM broadcast in French. Battery-operated radios may be used, but
others must be able to operate on 220v current or have a step-down
The Nigerien Government operates a single-channel national TV
network 7 evenings a week. Most programs are educational and
broadcast in the various languages of the country. Programming
normally includes a film or sports event of French origin.
U.S.-manufactured TV sets will not receive broadcasts from the Niger
TV station. Niger's color TV system is SECAM D/K (Note: It is not
the SECAM/L system that is used in France). All direct-hire houses
have been installed with the Armed Forces Radio and Television
Service (AFRTS) satellite receivers. AFRTS has six channels of
American programming with a combination of news, sports, drama and
sitcoms. A U.S. system TV (NTSC) is required to receive the signal.
To receive both AFRTS and local programming, a multisystem TV is
necessary. All stereo equipment, TV, and videotape machines should
operate on 50Hz and, given power supply fluctuations, it is
advisable to use a voltage regulator with any sensitive or valuable
equipment. The Mission issues a limited number of voltage regulators
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
1/21/2004 9:32 AM
The Nigerian Government publishes a daily newspaper, Le Sahel, in
French, which covers selected local, African, and international
news. There are also many additional private newspapers, some
published daily and others weekly. Most well known international
periodicals can be bought in Niamey, including Time, Newsweek, Le
Monde, Le Point, Jeune Afrique, The Economist, and the International
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 2/25/2005 5:04 AM
A Department of State Foreign Service health practitioner and a
FSN nurse staff the Embassy Health Unit. The regional medical
officer (RMO), based in Bamako, visits Niamey on a quarterly basis.
The regional psychiatrist, based in Accra, is available for special
consultation. Acute, chronic, and preventive health care is provided
through the Health Unit. Most laboratory work is done at the Peace
Corps Medical Unit, and a Western-trained English-speaking physician
provides backup consultation. A small French clinic, the Gamkalley
Clinic, is used for emergency care, hospitalizations, consultations,
and x-rays. Specialists in Niamey are used occasionally.
Dental care in Niamey is adequate for most problems, but the
providers do not speak English. We recommend that employees and
their families have a thorough dental exam and any necessary work
completed prior to arrival. Orthodontic work is available
periodically in Niamey. Keep in mind, only one visit a year is
authorized for dental evacuation.
Medical evacuations are sent to London or the U.S., depending on
the nature of the medical problem. Dental evacuations are usually
sent to London. Evacuations, which cannot leave by regular
commercial flights are handled by SOS, a Swiss emergency air
evacuation company based in Geneva that is used by the Department of
State Medical Division. All contract personnel should be sure that
they, or their employer, have purchased evacuation insurance.
Community Health Last Updated: 1/21/2004 9:39 AM
Infectious diseases pose serious health hazards in Niger, with
malaria being one of the most threatening. Chloroquine-resistant
malaria prevails, and you must always be on the preventive alert.
Current recommended chemical prophylaxis include weekly doses of
Mefloquine, daily doses of Doxycycline, or daily doses of Malarone.
Meningitis is seasonally reported and vaccination is recommended
every 3 years. Rabies is an endemic threat; employees and family
members should receive this immunization prior to reporting.
Giardia and amoebiasis are common here. Appropriate preparation
of food, drinking treated or purified water and using caution when
eating in restaurants will decrease the possibility of contracting
these to a minimal level. Respiratory infections, allergies, and
fatigue are common problems. Niger is an isolated area, and while
the Department does all it can to mitigate risk, a Western level of
medical and emergency care is not always achievable here.
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 2/25/2005 5:08 AM
The following immunizations are required before leaving for post:
yellow fever, typhoid, polio, meningitis, and hepatitis A and B.
Annual tuberculin skin tests are strongly recommended. Malaria
suppressants are necessary and should be started at least 2 weeks
before arrival, continued for the duration of the tour, during any
travel, and for 4 weeks after final departure. Mefloquine, and
Doxycycline are available at post. Bring a good first-aid kit as
well as an ample supply of preferred over-the-counter supplies,
sunscreen, insect repellant, and prescription drugs, as airpouch
replenishment may be delayed. The post recommends and supplies
mosquito netting for beds in each occupied bedroom.
Niamey's water treatment plant is ineffective. All homes have
distilling units, and safe bottled water is available. Raw fruits
and vegetables that cannot be peeled should be soaked in a bleach
solution (1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water) and then rinsed
with potable water before eating. All local meats should be well
cooked ("bien cuit" in French).
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 2/25/2005
The Mission has been able to provide eligible family member (EFM)
employment for dependent spouses wanting to work. Typically, these
positions are secretarial or clerical in nature. Occasionally,
teaching positions at the American School of Niamey or professional
and/or technical-level positions are available through the Peace
Corps. Jobs on the local economy are virtually nonexistent due to
requirements for work permits and waivers of diplomatic immunity.
For all positions, at the Embassy, school, or in the community,
French-language skills are recommended. The Mission's U.S.
Government agencies offer summer-hire employment for dependent
children 16 years of age and older, subject to the availability of
American Embassy - Niamey
Post City Last Updated: 2/25/2005 5:22 AM
Niamey, the capital and principal city of Niger, is in the
southwest corner of the country on the banks of the Niger River.
Since its selection as capital in 1925, its population has grown
from 8,000 to about 600,000. The city's 4,000 Europeans, mostly
French, almost all provide some kind of developmental assistance.
Niamey covers 15.5 square kilometers (6 square miles) and forms a
triangle that borders the river. An abundance of trees gives the
city a greenness that contrasts with the general aridity of the
Niamey is a critical crime threat post and random acts of
violence do occur, however infrequently. When individuals take
proper safety and security precautions, the city is generally
considered safe. In general, Nigeriens are very friendly and affable
toward all Americans. As in all economically poor countries, one can
expect to see individuals, especially children and the handicapped,
asking for a "cadeau" on street corners and in front of markets. As
an American, you tend to be easily identified and are generally
assumed to be wealthy.
The post consists of members of the Department of State, DOD, the
Peace Corps, and a Marine Security Guard Detachment. The Public
Diplomacy operates a Cultural Center that contains a small library
and exhibit room/auditorium. It sponsors English-language classes,
cultural presentations, and visitor programs for non-Americans.
About 100 Peace Corps volunteers work throughout the country in
public health, education, agriculture, and natural resources. The
Embassy performs normal diplomatic and consular functions and
provides full or partial administrative support for other agencies
through a Joint Administrative Office (JAO).
The Embassy's telex is EmbNia 5444NI. Office hours
(Monday-Friday) and telephone numbers are as follows (227 is the
international country code):
Embassy (227) 72-26-6 1/2/3/4 8:00 am-4:30 pm After hours (227)
Public Diplomacy (227) 73-31-69 8:00 am-noon and 12:30 pm-4:30 pm
Peace Corps (227) 75-32-38/39/40 8:00 am-4:30 pm ODC (227)
72-26-70 8:00 am-4:30 pm
FAO (227) 72-26-61/2/3/4 8:00 am-4:30 pm
A Marine Security Guard (MSG) is on duty in the Chancery 24 hours
daily, 7 days a week. The Chancery is located on an 11-acre U.S.
Government-owned plot on the edge of town. The Ambassador's
residence is situated nearby, also on U.S. Government-owned land.
The Public Diplomacy Cultural Center is near downtown and the Peace
Corps is located near the stadium on the opposite side of Niamey
from the Chancery.
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Occasionally, newcomers must stay in a hotel (usually Hotel
Sofitel Gaweye) until permanent housing is available. The Hotel
Gaweye has comfortable, air-conditioned rooms, a large pool, and a
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 2/25/2005 5:54 AM
Employees are housed in government-leased quarters. Usually,
employees move into their permanent quarters upon arrival.
Approximately half of the Mission housing is located predominantly
in an area of Niamey known as Yantala, considered as a "downtown"
area of the capital. The other half of the Mission housing is
located in a neighborhood called Kwara Kano. This neighborhood is
closer to the Embassy, but not as established as a residential area
as Yantala--houses often border with empty lots. Most employees live
only about 5 minutes by car from the Chancery. Most houses are of
similar design and consist of three or four bedrooms, a moderate
sized living room, dining room (which is sometimes combined with the
living room), kitchen, baths, and a small, usually screened terrace
or patio. All houses have adequate storage facilities and, except
those occupied by Peace Corps staff, small swimming pools. Most
swimming pool equipment is provided by the Embassy (a skimmer, a
vacuum and hose, a pole with brush, and life ring). the chemicals,
however, are the responsibility of the employee. Pool chemicals
including algae "shocker", ph kits, and chlorine tablets are
available locally all year round, but are more expensive than in the
U.S. The average amount spent on maintaining the pool is $50 per
Please do not attempt to bring the pool chemicals from the U.S.,
since the UAB, HHE and consumables are all flown by air. The
transportation counselors will not allow you to pack them in your
shipments, as they are considered hazardous air cargo.
Furnishings Last Updated: 2/25/2005 5:55 AM
All government-leased quarters are provided with basic furniture,
including lamps. Special items, such as baby furniture, are not
supplied. Most houses are equipped for curtains and a curtain
allowance is authorized. Rugs are issued for at least four rooms.
Furnishings include water purifiers, garbage cans, garden tools and
hoses, gasoline lawn mowers, stepladders and step stools, a 220v
vacuum cleaner, and at least three transformers in addition to other
government-issued appliances. In addition to basic furnishings and
equipment, each house is provided with a gas stove (which, for
direct hires, uses Mission-provided bottled gas), a distiller, an
electric refrigerator, a freezer, a microwave, washer, and electric
clothes dryer. One set of metal veranda furniture is provided as
All bedrooms and the living/dining room areas are
air-conditioned. Electric current in Niamey is 220v, 50Hz, so all
110v electrical equipment (e.g., mixers, sewing machines, and
stereos) must be able to operate on 50Hz and be used with a
transformer. To avoid needing transformers with all your small
appliances, bring any 220v appliance you can. Niamey experiences
periodic power surges, so use a voltage regulator with stereo and
(Note: as Peace Corps furnishings vary somewhat from the above,
personnel should contact Peace Corps/Niger for a list of what is
Shopping in Niamey is limited. Although imported items are
available, they tend to be expensive, and unfamiliar. Household
items you feel are necessary and not provided by the Embassy should
be brought with you. The CLO will provide a detailed list of
desirable items. In general, consider bringing items in your HHE
such as holiday items, 220v appliances, kitchen appliances, and
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Two phones are supplied to each residence. The monthly phone
service, as well as Internet connections and all associated fees, is
the responsibility of the employee. The Mission supplies appliances
and furnishings as mentioned above, as well as the following
equipment for each house: water purifiers, garbage cans, garden
tools and hoses, gasoline lawn mowers, stepladders and step stools,
a pool vacuum and skimmer, a 220v vacuum cleaner, and three
transformers. For direct hires, the Mission also supplies propane
gas for the kitchen stove, and covers bills associated with
electricity and water.
The employee is responsible for pool chemicals (see Permanent
Housing section), yard fertilizer and plants for the yard.
Food Last Updated: 2/25/2005 5:57 AM
Niamey has three Western-style grocery stores, and numerous
small, well-stocked "shacks". Local markets and grocery stores offer
a good variety of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as
imported canned goods and dairy products. Some fresh fruits and
vegetables are imported, but most are grown locally; prices for all
imported goods are generally high. Beer, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta,
Youki (tonic), and Bulvit (soda water) are bottled locally, and
availability is consistent. Alcoholic drinks and wine are available
in grocery stores, and Embassy employees can purchase good quality
French wines duty-free from a local supplier at very reasonable
Local beef, veal, pork, lamb, and chicken are plentiful. A local
white fish called "capitaine," a variety of Nile perch found in the
Niger River, is plentiful and delicious. Bakeries sell French-style
baguettes, delicious croissants, and various pastries.
Personnel assigned to Niamey are authorized a special consumables
allowance. This allowance varies according to the agency. Contact
the specific agency for details. As most grocery store food items
are European products sold at slightly higher prices than American
equivalents in the U.S., most families choose to use the entire
allowance. You may use part of your consumables allowance before
arrival, concentrating on basic supplies (such as laundry detergent,
paper products, bath soaps, lotions and toiletries, etc.) and any
favorite brand items, and then order the remainder of your allowance
after arrival. Baby foods can be found easily in local markets, but
again are more expensive. An employee has up to one year from date
of orders to use the shipping allowance, provided the weight
allowance has not been reached.
Clothing Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Bring an ample supply of clothing to Niamey, as frequent washing
and strong sunlight take a heavy toll. Shoes and sneakers tend to
wear out quickly. Clothing selections should be made bearing in mind
the informal dress standards of the community (work and otherwise),
the hot climate, and seasonal variations. Although dry cleaning is
available, the quality of service and the high cost limit its use,
so washable fabrics are preferable. Cotton is a good choice, as it
will keep you cooler than synthetics. Despite fairly high daytime
temperatures, during the cool season (November-February), evening
temperatures sometimes drop low enough to require sweaters or
lightweight jackets. Bring all sports clothes and gear with you, as
the local supply is limited and expensive. Bring some warm clothes
for possible trips to the U.S. or Europe during winter months.
Men Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Casual attire worn in the U.S. is the dress for the office and
most social occasions. Jackets and neckties are rarely worn in the
office, but are worn at official and at some diplomatic functions.
Formal dinner clothes are rarely worn, although tuxedos are
appropriate at the annual Marine Corps Ball. The Ambassador's Fourth
of July diplomatic reception requires a business suit.
Women Last Updated: 2/25/2005 5:58 AM
A 2-year supply of washable summer clothing is recommended, as is
a good sunhat. Except at the senior level, most women probably will
not need a formal gown, but casual summer dresses are popular, as
are shorter evening dresses. Stockings are rarely worn, even during
the cool season. Sand is found virtually everywhere, so closed shoes
are highly recommended; however, sandals are frequently worn by both
women and men. Shorts, jeans, and slacks are worn frequently by
American and European women when socializing in the expatriate
community. More modest attire (e.g., skirts or dresses that cover
the knee, loose-fitting slacks, and shirts that are not too bare or
form fitting) is more culturally appropriate and, therefore,
recommended for around town.
Local tailors do satisfactory work on simple dresses, men's
shirts, and safari-type suits as well as exceptional decorative
embroidery. A variety of imported and local fabric is available, the
latter being particularly popular for casual clothing. Thread and
other notions can be found, but their quality is not the best. Bring
a supply of these items, along with patterns, to post. A sewing
machine can be useful as well.
Children Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
A generous supply of summer clothing is suggested. The original
supply can be supplemented through mail order. Children may require
several clothing changes each day because of heat and dirt. Children
wear shorts rather than long pants for most of the year, but jeans
are popular as well. Bedrooms are air-conditioned so bring pajamas.
Bring enough shoes for the duration of the tour. Plastic sandals and
thongs are sold at reasonable prices, and small children wear them
Supplies and Services
Supplies Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Small household and personal articles may be less expensive if
shipped from the U.S. Mainly French and European products are sold,
although some American-brand cosmetics and hair preparations are
available locally. Bring a supply of favorite soaps, shampoos,
toiletries, sunscreens, vitamins, and dry-skin lotions, which are
Bring all sports equipment (a case of tennis balls is a must for
tennis players), books, records/tapes/CDs, cameras, and film. Camera
film, color as well as black and white, is sold locally, but at
higher than U.S. prices. Color processing for slides and prints is
quite good but costs about three times as much as U.S. prices. Local
black-and-white processing is poor. Most employees use photo mailers
to have film processed in the U.S.
Bring a supply of gift items for all ages to be used for holidays
and birthday parties as well as wrapping paper, ribbons, and cards.
In addition, each person arriving at post needs about 12
wallet-sized photos, either black and white or color, to be used
before departure and after arrival for ID cards, driver's license,
Basic Services Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
The Mission provides all furniture, furnishings, large appliances
and basic maintenance services for homes. Should a problem arise,
the GSO serves as a go-between for all servicing of utilities, and
for the landlords of the homes. The employee is responsible for
providing pool and lawn care.
Domestic Help Last Updated: 2/25/2005 5:59 AM
Well-trained domestic help is available. Most household staff,
except for nannies, are men. Though most Nigerien household staff
speak French, it is possible to find some English-speaking cooks and
nannies. Salaries range from $75-$150 a month, depending on
experience and level of competence. Employers are responsible for a
15.4% contribution of a servant's annual salary to the Niger social
security system. Twenty-four-hour guards are provided for security
only, and it is against regulations to use guards for any type of
domestic work, including gardening, washing cars or swimming pool
Religious Activities Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Most Nigeriens are Moslems, but there is a Roman Catholic Church
that holds services in French. In addition, there is an
International Christian Fellowship, and English Protestant,
English/French International Protestant, and French Assemblies of
God worships. There are no scheduled Jewish services.
Education Last Updated: 2/25/2005 6:08 AM
Established in 1982, the American School of Niamey (ASN) is an
independent coeducational day school offering pre-kindergarten
through grade 9. A 10th-12th-grade correspondence study program in
conjunction with the University of Nebraska Independent High School
Center is also currently offered. The school year consists of two
semesters that begin in late August and end in early June. The
school is governed by a seven-member board of directors, six being
elected by the ASN Association for one-year terms, and the seventh
is appointed by the U.S. Ambassador. Membership in the ASN
Association is automatically given to the parents or guardians of
The curriculum is similar to those of U.S. public schools.
Instruction is in English, but grades 1-9 receive significant
French-language instruction. In addition to language arts, reading,
math, science, and social studies, the curriculum includes music,
art, physical education, computers, and Nigerien studies.
English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) is provided to students who are
not already proficient. Standardized achievement tests are
administered annually. ASN is accredited by the Middle States
Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the
Association of International Schools in Africa. In the 2004-2005
school year, 44 students were enrolled and the staff consisted of 8
full-time and 3 part-time members. The faculty consists of six
Americans, three Nigeriens (two hold degrees from north American
Universities). The other two part-time faculty members are from the
Netherlands and Russia. Nearly all the faculty possesses teacher
certification or equivalent. The students come from 10 different
The ASN facilities are some of the best in Africa. In September
1985, ASN moved into its new buildings located on U.S.
Government-owned property adjacent to the Embassy. The facility
consists of four single-story, air-conditioned buildings. Two of the
buildings include six classrooms, a science lab, and a multipurpose
room. The administration building houses the offices, a library, and
a computer lab. Another building houses a music/art room, a storage
room, and large rooms for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. The
playground area includes softball and soccer fields, and basketball
and volleyball courts.
If you wish to enroll your children in the ASN, contact the
school in advance and bring records from the previous school. You
may call the school at the following numbers: phone (227) 72-39-42,
fax (227) 72-34-57.
The French Lycée La Fontaine, is subsidized by the French
Ministry of Cooperation and staffed by competent French teachers.
Some 1,000 students are currently enrolled. Some non-Embassy
American students attend; however, no special provisions are made
for non-French speakers. Please notify the post in advance if you
plan to enroll your children and provide their birth dates and
French-language capability. Several French-language daycare
facilities are available for preschool-aged children.
Numerous extracurricular activities such as, piano, Tae Kwon Do,
swimming, and French classes are available for children. Classes in
horseback riding and jumping for beginners and advanced riders are
held at local riding clubs. Private tennis lessons are also
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 2/25/2005 6:10 AM
The Community Center, operated by the American School, is located
adjacent to the Embassy. A swimming pool, tennis and volleyball
courts, a softball field, a snack bar, video club, and monthly
activities are available to members. The 2004-2005 annual membership
fees are $135 per adult and $67 per child. Families with more than 3
children can buy a family membership at the price of 2 adults and 3
children. The Ambassador's residence also has a tennis court and
swimming pool, but their use is subject to some restrictions.
Softball is very popular, and weekly games are held every Saturday
afternoon. American Embassies throughout West Africa host several
tournaments during the year. These tournaments provide great
pleasure for players and supporters alike, giving them the
opportunity to travel to another country taking advantage of group
airfares. Both men and women participate in all sports.
People seriously interested in horseback riding might consider
purchasing a horse locally; prices are usually reasonable. Boarding
at one of the local riding clubs costs about $45 a month (22,000
CFA/month along with the 10,000 CFA membership fee). The riding
style is European, and riders must provide their own tack. Other
sporting opportunities include the Niamey golf club at Rio Bravo,
which has an 18-hole course and sand "browns;" the "Hash House
Harriers," which is a weekly international running club; and a
health and fitness club at the stadium and local hotel where regular
group exercise classes are held. The Marine House, located adjacent
to the Embassy, also allows Embassy personnel to utilize the gym
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Though no real change of climate and scenery can be found within
a day's drive of Niamey, some interesting excursions can be made by
car or plane. Docile and magnificent, the last herd of giraffes in
West Africa can be found just outside of Niamey, about a 45-minute
drive away. Since they roam a vast area, hire a registered guide
(inexpensive) to help you locate them. This trip is one of the most
popular ways to spend a weekend morning.
Park "W" is a wildlife preserve located in the extreme southwest
part of Niger, flanked by Burkina Faso and Benin. At the edge of the
park is a good hotel open all year, or if you prefer to camp,
sleeping bags and blankets are available. Park "W" is open during
the dry season (from December 1 to May 30) when elephants, gazelles,
baboons, waterbuck, an occasional lion, and other animals visit the
waterholes along the river. The preserve is a 2-hour drive from
Niamey, but most people stay overnight to be at the waterholes by
early light. At nearby Arly and Penjari Parks are camps that provide
sleeping accommodations and meals if prior arrangements are made in
Other day trips might include trips to one of six larger villages
within a 2-hour drive from Niamey that have a day-long market; the
villages have arranged to have their markets on different days of
The Niamey Museum is considered to be one of the best in West
Africa. Original and attractive in conception, it combines
traditional exhibits with village reproductions of the major
Nigerien ethnic groups. Local artisans work on the grounds, and
their products can be purchased either in the Museum gift shop (set
price) or from the artisans themselves (bartering involved). A small
zoo, housing animals native to Niger, is also located at the Museum.
Wadata Artisan Village is another place to visit to purchase local
Fishing is possible in the Niger River, but the danger of many
serious diseases prevents most people from swimming or water skiing.
Generally, for more than half of the year, the Niger River is high
enough for boating and there is enough wind for sailing. Some
families rent a river-hut (approximately $200/-year) for a weekend
getaway and change of scenery. Bird watching is also a popular
activity in Niamey. Hunting is banned in Niger, but is permitted in
Burkina Faso. Other popular activities include canoeing, renting a
pirogue for a trip down the river and for hippo watching, bicycling,
hiking, and motorcycling.
At the time of publication, no travel restrictions are in effect
in Niger. Recent random acts of violence have, however, had a
depressing effect on travel and tourism to the desert areas north of
Agadez. In Niamey itself, recently enforced security measures
restrict Embassy Toyota Land Cruisers usage after dark and a few
nightclubs are off-limits to Embassy employees. Current U.S. travel
restriction information applicable to Niger can be found at the
intranet site travel.state.gov.
Entertainment Last Updated: 2/25/2005 6:10 AM
Two air-conditioned and four open-air movie theaters show
European (mainly French), American, and Indian films. Non-French
films are dubbed in French. The Marine House regularly shows
relatively recent American movies.
The Franco-Nigerien Cultural Center has several activities each
week, including films and art exhibits as well as occasional folk
music, dancing, and performances by traveling theater troupes. The
Public Diplomacy Cultural Center occasionally sponsors programs of
interest to the American community.
Niamey has restaurants serving West African, French, Italian,
Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, and Lebanese cuisine, as well as some
snack bars specializing in brochettes or hamburgers and fries. Pizza
is available, but a bit different than the familiar American style.
Niamey has several lively discotheques featuring a variety of
Social Activities Last Updated: 2/25/2005 6:11 AM
Among expatriates, social life is informal and relaxed. The
resident diplomatic and international community is rather small and
consists of personnel from other Embassies and U.N. agencies.
Opportunities in Niamey to meet and associate with diverse people
are limited only by the interest and initiative of the individual
and, in many cases, by an ability and willingness to speak French.
Although Niger is a Moslem country, there are no special limitations
for the foreign community regarding food or drink. As for dress,
although not strictly enforced, women are expected to dress modestly
(see Clothing). Business-style calling cards are useful, but not
required, for both employees and spouses. If bringing cards, 200 to
500 cards are sufficient. All-purpose invitation cards can be
printed locally but are very expensive.
Apart from those already mentioned, a variety of clubs and
activities are also available. The American/Anglophone Women's Club
of Niamey (which welcomes members of all nationalities) sponsors a
variety of events throughout the year. The Rotary International and
Lion's Club are active in Niamey and open to both men and women of
all nationalities (bring a letter of introduction from your home
club). There is also an international chorus and ensemble that
rehearses and performs regularly.
Official Functions Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
The principal official function held in Niamey is the annual
Fourth of July celebration at the Ambassador's residence. Other
nonofficial, yet regularly held functions include the Marine
Birthday Ball, an Easter celebration, an FSN holiday gathering, and
the "NUTS" West Africa Regional softball tournament. In general,
employees should attend any official functions to which they are
invited and are encouraged to participate in nonofficial functions.
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 1/21/2004 9:53 AM
Personnel of all agencies who are assigned to Niamey should write
to the JAO Director immediately after they are notified of their
assignment so that briefing materials can be sent to them.
Most personnel arrive in Niamey by plane, usually coming through
Paris via Air France. Cable flight information and arrival time to
the post well in advance of your scheduled arrival. Call the Embassy
day or night if you are not met at the airport. The Embassy phone
number is 72-26-61/2/3/4. The after hours number is 72-31-41.
Household Effects (HHE). The European Logistical Support Office
(ELSO), located in Antwerp, Belgium, has been designated as the
control office for shipment HHE to and from Niamey. Effects
departing the U.S. are shipped to ELSO and then are airfreighted to
Niamey. Private vehicles are not flown from Europe but are shipped
to the port in Lome, Togo, where forwarding arrangements are made to
transport the vehicle by truck overland to Niamey. Vans or crates
should be marked:
American Embassy (owner's initials) Niamey, Niger via Antwerp
(ELSO) (For automobiles: via Lome, Togo)
Advise packers not to exceed standards for normal air vans.
For each shipment routed through Antwerp, send a complete set of
shipping documents (original ocean bill of lading, copy of travel
orders, and packing list) to ELSO by fastest reliable mail, with
copies to the Embassy in Niamey, attention GSO. The international
mailing address for ELSO is:
ELSO Noorderlaan 47 Bus 12A Atlantic House 2030 Antwerp, Belgium
Airfreight. Unaccompanied air baggage (UAB) should be marked in
the same manner as the "HHE," but do not identify as "via Antwerp
(ELSO)." Advise the post as far in advance as possible of the airway
bill number, number of pieces, and shipping weight. Under no
circumstances should alcoholic beverages, firearms, ammunition, or
corrosive chemicals (such as pool chlorine) be included in this
shipment. Send a complete packing list to post as soon as possible.
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Delays in customs clearances are avoided by strict adherence to
the addressing and routing instructions above. In particular, all
airfreight shipped directly to Niamey must be clearly addressed to
the American Embassy.
Passage Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Valid entry visas are required for official personnel arriving in
Niamey, for all employees, and all family members. They can be
obtained at any Nigerien diplomatic or consular post. Travelers to
post who have not obtained a visa should allow several days in
Abidjan or Paris to obtain one. Airport visas are available if
necessary, but difficult to obtain. The yellow World Health
Organization (WHO) vaccination card with a valid yellow fever
inoculation is also necessary (State Department vaccination
requirements for Niger exceed those required by the country for
Pets Last Updated: 2/25/2005 6:20 AM
Pets arriving at post should have a valid rabies certificate
(within 1 year, but before 30 days, of departure for post), a USDA
Certificate of Good Health signed by a certified veterinarian and
dated within 5 days of boarding the airplane, and a current
vaccination card for the pet. Be sure to check with the airline you
are using as rules may vary; Air France restrictions tend to be
stricter than American carriers. Air France requires all dogs and
cats traveling to or transiting through France to be identified with
a microchip or tattoo. Generally, it is most cost-effective to take
the pet along as "excess baggage" and to fly straight through to
post. Complications or unexpected fees may arise if pet is claimed
during a connection lay over.
Many American carriers are restricting pet passage; contact the
airline well in advance to ensure your pet may travel.
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Nigerien law strictly prohibits importation of firearms and
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated:
2/25/2005 8:37 AM
The local currency is the CFA (Communauté Financière Africaine)
franc, which is pegged to the Euro. The same currency is used
throughout Francophone West Africa. Banks with local branches in
Niamey include the Bank of Africa (BAO) and the International Bank
of West Africa (BIAO).
The Embassy cashier provides accommodation exchange and will cash
personal dollar checks. Employees must make out powers of attorney
for dependent spouses in order for them to cash checks as well.
Embassy payrolls are prepared in Charleston, S.C. by RAMC, and
employees must have their paychecks direct deposited to their U.S.
bank. It takes about 6 weeks after arrival at post before pay and
allowances are regularly received from Charleston.
Weights and measures in Niger are based on the metric system.
Temperatures are reported in Celsius. Niger does not observe
Daylight Savings Time—October to April Niamey is six standard time
zones ahead of E.S.T. (G.M.T. plus one; same as Paris), and April to
October five hours ahead.
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 2/28/2002
There are no restrictions on sales of reasonable amounts of used
personal property when departing post, provided the property was
brought in for personal use and not for sale, and is not sold at a
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
These titles are provided as a general indication of the material
published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse
Books Beckwith, Carol and Marion Van Offelen. Nomads of Niger.
Boyle, T.C. Water Music.
Clark, Thurston. The Last Caravan.
Emcheta, Buchi. Joys of Motherhood.
Gorer, Geoffrey. Africa Dances.
Gramont, Sanche. The Strong Brown God.
Naylor, Kim and Michael Haag. Discovery Guide to West Africa.
Stoller, Paul and Cheryl Olkes. In Sorcery's Shadow.
Films Beresford, Bruce. Mister Johnson (filmed in northern
Bertolucci, Bernardo. Sheltering Sky.
Local Holidays Last Updated: 2/28/2002 6:00 PM
Along with standard official U.S. holidays, the Mission observes
the following Nigerien holidays:
Aid-ar-fit'r/Ramadan* Varies Aid-al-Adha/Tabaski* Varies Muharam*
Varies Concord Day April 24 Niger Labor Day May 1 Mouloud* Varies
Niger Independence Day August 3 Lailatoul-Quadr Varies Niger
Republic Day December 18
*The exact date is determined by lunar sightings.