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Ɲamay  (Zarma)
Yamai  (Hausa)
ⵏⵉⴰⵎⵢ  (Tawallammat Tamajaq)
Niamey from grand mosque theatre 2006.jpg
Trois Soeurs Niamey.jpg
Niger, Niamey, Place du Temple (ST-31)(3).jpg
Zoo du Musee national de Niamey.jpg
Niger, Niamey, Kountche Stadium (1).jpg
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Niamey from grand mosque, Trois Sœurs, Place du Temple, Zoo du Musée national de Niamey, Kountché Stadium, Dunes
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Location in Niger and Africa
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Red pog.svg
Niamey (Africa)
Coordinates: 13°30′54″N02°07′03″E / 13.51500°N 2.11750°E / 13.51500; 2.11750 Coordinates: 13°30′54″N02°07′03″E / 13.51500°N 2.11750°E / 13.51500; 2.11750
CountryFlag of Niger.svg  Niger
Region Niamey Urban Community
Communes Urbaines 5 Communes
Districts44 Districts
Quartiers99 Quarters
  TypeAppointed district government, elected city council, elected commune and quarter councils [1]
  Mayor Assane Seydou Sanda [1]
  Total239.30 km2 (92.39 sq mi)
207 m (679 ft)
  Total1,026,848 [2]
(October 1, 2020)
1,334,984 [3]
  Niamey Urban Community
Time zone UTC+1 (WAT)
Area code(s) 20

Niamey (French pronunciation:  [njamɛ] ) is the capital and largest city of Niger. Niamey lies on the Niger River, primarily situated on the east bank. Niamey's population was counted as 1,026,848 as of the 2012 census. As of 2017, population projections show the capital district growing at a slower rate than the country as a whole, which has the world's highest fertility rate. [4] The city is located in a pearl millet growing region, while manufacturing industries include bricks, ceramic goods, cement, and weaving.[ citation needed ]



Niamey in December 1930. The large house in the centre is the French governor's residence. Air photo taken by Swiss pilot and photographer Walter Mittelholzer. Mittelholzer-niamey.jpg
Niamey in December 1930. The large house in the centre is the French governor's residence. Air photo taken by Swiss pilot and photographer Walter Mittelholzer.

Niamey was probably founded in the 18th century and originated as a cluster of small villages (Gaweye, Kalley, Maourey, Zongo and Foulani Koira). [5] Niamey was of little importance until the French developed it as a colonial centre in the late 1890s. The town, then with an estimated population of some 1,800, was chosen as the capital of the newly created Military Territory of Niger in 1905, however, the capital was shifted to the more established city of Zinder in 1912. [5] Zinder's proximity to the Nigerian border and distance from French-controlled ports prompted the French to move the capital back to Niamey in 1926, by which time the city had some 3,000 inhabitants. [5] A series of devastating droughts prompted significant population growth during this period, and by 1945 the population was about 8,000. [5]

Prior to 1926-27 the Upper Volta-Niger border ran along the Niger river, meaning that Niamey lay directly on the boundary. [6]

Place du Liptako-Gourma Niger, Niamey, Place du Liptako-Gourma (2).jpg
Place du Liptako-Gourma

At the time of independence in 1960 the population had grown to around 30,000. [7] [1] [5] The period from 1970 to 1988 was one in which the economy of Niger boomed, driven by revenue from the uranium mines at Arlit. As a result, the population of Niamey grew from 108,000 to 398,365 inhabitants and the city expanded from 1,367 ha (3,380 acres) in 1970 to 4,400 ha (11,000 acres) by 1977, in the process annexing peripheral villages such as Lazaret. [8] Continuing droughts also caused many rural Nigeriens to move to the growing city. [5]

In 1992 Niamey and its immediate hinterland were split off from Niamey Region to form the much smaller Niamey Capital District, enclaved within the new Tillabéri Region. [9]

By some estimates, the population had reached 700,000 in 2000. [5] In 2011, government press estimated the total urban population at over 1.5 million. A major cause of the increase has been in migration for work and during droughts, as well as high population growth. [1] This last factor means that demographically a majority of the city's citizens are young people. [1]


The Friendship Bridge Pont de l'amitie Chine-Niger - Niamey from the Sky.jpg
The Friendship Bridge

The Niamey region straddles between the Liptako, corresponding to the northern extremity of the East ridge of Man, and the south-western edge of the Iullemmeden basin. [10] Covering an area of over 250 km2 (97 sq mi), the metropolitan area sits atop two plateaux reaching 218 m (715 ft) in altitude, bisected by the Niger River. At Niamey, the river, running almost straight SSE from Gao, Mali, makes a series of wide bends. The city was founded on the east ("left bank") of the river as it meanders from west to east flow to run almost directly south. A series of marshy islands begin at Niamey and extend south in the river.[ citation needed ]

The vast majority of the population and government and commercial buildings are located on the eastern bank of the river. The very centre of the centre contains a number of wide boulevards linking roundabouts. Two bridges connect the two sides - the Kennedy Bridge and the Friendship Bridge. The western bank area consists mainly of residential areas such as Gaweye, Saguia, Lamorde, Saga, and Karadje, as well as Abdou Moumouni University.[ citation needed ]


The climate is hot semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSh), with an expected rainfall of between 500 mm (20 in) and 750 mm (30 in) a year, mostly beginning with a few storms in May, then transitioning to a rainy season, usually lasting from sometime in June to early September, when the rains taper off rather quickly. Most of the rainfall is from late June to mid-September. There is practically no rain from October to April. Niamey is remarkably hot throughout the year. In fact, it is one of the hottest major cities on the planet. Average monthly high temperatures reach 38 °C (100 °F) four months out of the year and in no month do average high temperatures fall below 32 °C (90 °F). During the dry season, particularly from November through February, nights are generally cool. Average nighttime lows between November and February range from 14–18 °C (57–64 °F).

Climate data for Niamey, Niger (1961–1990, extremes: 1961–2015)
Record high °C (°F)38.2
Average high °C (°F)32.5
Daily mean °C (°F)24.3
Average low °C (°F)16.1
Record low °C (°F)12.6
Average precipitation mm (inches)0.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)22171827425567747353342742
Mean monthly sunshine hours 2802642642512572512382032282852852763,082
Source 1: Deutscher Wetterdienst [11]
Source 2: Danish Meteorological Institute [12]


Niamey seen from Spot Satellite Niamey SPOT 1101.jpg
Niamey seen from Spot Satellite
Historical population
Source: [13] [14]

Niamey's population has grown rapidly since independence - the droughts of the early 1970s and 1980s, along with the economic crisis of the early 1980s, have propelled an exodus of rural inhabitants to Niger's largest city. [9] Its population increased gradually, from about 3,000 in 1930 to about 30,000 in 1960, rising to 250,000 in 1980 and, according to the official statistics, to 800,000 in 2000. [10] Under the military government of General Seyni Kountché, there were strict controls on residency and the government would regularly round up and "deport" those without permits back to their villages. [15] The growing freedoms of the late 1980s and 1990s, along with the Tuareg Rebellion of the 1990s and famine in the 2000s, have reinforced this process of internal migration, with large informal settlements appearing on the outskirts of the city. Noticeable in the city's centre since the 1980s are groups of poor, young, or handicapped beggars.[ citation needed ] Within the richer or more trafficked neighbourhoods, these beggars have in fact formed a well-regulated hierarchical system in which beggars garner sadaka according to cultural and religious norms. [15]

In the 1990s, the capital district population growth rate was lower than the torrid national rate, suggesting large rural migration (urbanization) was negligible in Niger, there is an undercount, and/or the government's forced urban to rural deportations were effective. [15]

Culture and architecture

Niamey marketplace Niger, Niamey, Rue NB-26 (2).jpg
Niamey marketplace
Niger National Museum Zoo du Musee national de Niamey.jpg
Niger National Museum

A major attraction in the city is the Niger National Museum, which incorporates a zoo, a museum of vernacular architecture, a craft centre, and exhibits including dinosaur skeletons and the Tree of Ténéré. Other places of interest include the American, French and Nigerien cultural centres, seven major market centres (including the large Niamey Grand Market), a traditional wrestling arena, and a horse racing track. Most of the colourful pottery sold in Niamey is hand made in the nearby village of Boubon.[ citation needed ]

In December 2005, it was the host of the Jeux de la Francophonie.[ citation needed ]

Places of worship

Niger being a predominantly Muslim country, mosques are the most common places of worship, with the Grande Mosquée being the largest in the city. There are also various Christian churches, most notably Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral and the Cathedral de Maourey. [16] [5]



Niamey makes up a special capital district of Niger, which is surrounded by the Region of Tillabéri.

Old presidential palace Old Presidential Palace in Niamey - Mapillary (1zunKARfz0wkJExHFVEFng).jpg
Old presidential palace

The city of Niamey itself is governed as an autonomous first-level administrative block, the Niamey Urban Community (Fr. Communauté Urbaine de Niamey, or CUN). It includes five Urban Communes, divided into 44 "Districts" and 99 "Quartiers", including formerly independent towns. It is a co-equal first division subdivision with the seven Regions of Niger. The Niamey Urban Community includes an administration and Governor appointed by national leaders. [1] Like the rest of Niger, Niamey has seen a decentralisation of governance since 2000. Government Ordinance n°2010–56 and Presidential Decree n°2010-679 of September 2010 mandated an elected City Council for the city of Niamey, subsumed under the CUN. This excludes some outlying areas of the CUN. [1] Forty-five councillors are popularly elected and in turn elect the Mayor of the City of Niamey. In July 2011 the first Mayor under the new system, Oumarou Dogari Moumouni, was installed by the Governor of the CUN Mrs. Aïchatou Boulama Kané and the City Council. [1] The City Council and Mayor have limited roles compared to the CUN Governor. Niamey has a third layer of government in the Commune system. Each Commune elects its own council, and outside major cities, these function like independent cities. Niamey and other major cities have been, since the advent of decentralisation, developing co-ordination of Commune governments in large cities made up of multiple Communes. [1]

Under this devolution process [17] formalised in the 1999 Constitution of Niger, the CUN contains five urban communes, which are further divided into 99 quarters ("Quartiers") with elected boards.

Communes and quarters

The CUN includes 99 quarters: [18]

CommuneQuartersMapCity map with the 5 communes
Niamey I
20 Quarters
Commune I (Niamey Map).png
Niamey (district map).png
Niamey II
17 Quarters
Commune II (Niamey Map).png
Niamey III
17 Quarters
Commune III (Niamey Map).png
Niamey IV
17 Quarters
Commune IV (Niamey Map).png
Niamey V
28 Quarters
Commune V (Niamey Map).png

The CUN includes land where there were formerly several surrounding towns and villages which the city of Niamey has now annexed. These include Soudouré, Lamordé, Gamkallé, Yantala, and Gaweye. [19]

The CUN covers a territory of 239.30 km2 (92.39 sq mi), [20] or 0.02% of the nation's territory. [21]

Until 1998, all of greater Niamey was part of Tillabéri Region, which prior to 1992 was named the Niamey Department. The CUN remains surrounded on all sides by Tillabéri Region. [19]


Niamey airport Niameyairport 2005 crop.JPG
Niamey airport

Niamey is served by the Diori Hamani International Airport, located 12 km southeast of the city and is crossed by the RN1 highway. Niamey railway station, officially inaugurated in April 2014, is the first one built in Niger. [22] [23] Boats are also used to travel the Niger River. [5]


The city is also the site of the National School of Administration, Abdou Moumouni University, the Higher Institute of Mining, Industry and Geology which lies on the right bank of the river, and many institutes (Centre Numérique de Niamey, IRD, ICRISAT, Hydrologic Institute, etc.) Niamey hosts the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development. [24]

Related Research Articles

Geography of Niger

Niger is a landlocked nation in West Africa located along the border between the Sahara and Sub-Saharan regions. Its geographic coordinates are longitude 16°N and latitude 8°E. Its area is 1.267 million square kilometers, of which 1 266 700 km2 is land and 300 km2 water, making Niger slightly less than twice the size of France.

Transport in Niger

Niger's transport system was little developed during the colonial period (1899–1960), relying upon animal, human, and limited river transport in the far south west and south east. No railways were constructed in the colonial period, and roads outside the capital remained unpaved. The Niger River is unsuitable for large-scale river transport, as it lacks depth for most of the year and is broken by rapids in many areas. Camel caravan transport was historically important in the Sahara desert and Sahel regions which cover most of the north.

Departments of Niger

The regions of Niger are subdivided into 63 departments. Before the devolution program on 1999–2005, these departments were styled arrondissements. Confusingly, the next level up (regions) had, before 2002-2005 been styled departments. Prior to a revision in 2011, there had been 36 departments. A draft law in August 2011 would expand that number to 63. Until 2010, arrondissements remained a proposed subdivision of departments, though none were used. The decentralisation process, begun in the 1995-1999 period replaced appointed Prefects at Departmental/Arrondisement level with elected councils, first elected in 1999. These were the first local elections held in the history of Niger. Officials elected at commune level are then selected as representatives at Departmental, regional, and National level councils and administration. The Ministry of Decentralisation was created to oversee this task, and to create a national consultative council of local officials.

Diffa Region Region of Niger

Diffa is one of the seven Regions of Niger, located in the southeast of the country. The capital of the region is Diffa.

Tillabéri Region Region of Niger

Tillabéri is one of the eight Regions of Niger; the capital of the Region is Tillabéri. Tillabéri Region was created in 1992, when Niamey Region was split, with Niamey and its immediate hinterland becoming a new capital district enclaved within Tillabéri Region.

In-Gall is a town in the Agadez Region, Tchirozerine Department of northeast Niger, with a year-round population of less than 500. Known for its oasis and salt flats, In-Gall is the gathering point for the Cure Salee festival of Tuareg and Wodaabe pastoralists to celebrate the end of the rainy season each September. During the festival, In-Gall's population grows to several thousand nomads, officials, and tourists. As of 2011, the commune had a total population of 47,170 people.

Communes of Niger

The Departments of Niger are subdivided into communes. As of 2005, in the seven Regions and one Capital Area, there were 36 départements, divided into 265 communes, 122 cantons and 81 groupements. The latter two categories cover all areas not covered by Urban Communes or Rural Communes, and are governed by the Department, whereas Communes have elected councils and mayors. Additional semi-autonomous sub-divisions include Sultanates, Provinces and Tribes (tribus). The Nigerien government estimates there are an additional 17000 Villages administered by Rural Communes, while there are over 100 Quartiers administered by Urban Communes.

Abdou Moumouni University

Abdou Moumouni University was formerly the University of Niamey from 1974 to 1994. On the right bank of the Niger River in Niamey, its students and faculty have historically been involved in protest movements in the capital.

Outline of Niger Overview of and topical guide to Niger

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Niger:

Regions of Niger

Niger is divided into eight regions, each named after its capital.

Say Department Department in Tillabéri Region, Niger

Say is a department of the Tillabéri Region in Niger. Its capital city is Say, and includes the towns of Guéladjo, Tamou, and Torodi. It abuts the urban Region of Niamey, and lies across the Niger River to the southwest of the capital. It extends to the Burkina Faso border over 60 km to the west, and the northernmost border with Benin in the south. The Say area is today divided between the riverine valley in the east of the Department, and the more sparsely populated areas to the west, which are intercut with a series of eastward flowing tributaries. The Niger river, a broad shallow channel at Niamey and at Say, passes through a series of gorges and cataracts, called the "W" bend for the shape the river takes, in the south of the Say Department. To the west of these rapids lies what is now the W Regional Park, a sparsely populated area historically plagued by insect borne diseases of both humans and cattle. Now a park and tourist attraction, its history as a "no mans land" has made it a refuge for remaining wild animals, as well as several undisturbed archeological sites. From at least the 16th century CE, the Songhai proper moved south into this area from the north around what is now Tera. The inhabitants at the time were related to the Gourma people, who form most of the population of the northwestern part of the Department today. In the 18th and 19th century, the town of Say was founded by Fulani migrants from the Gao region of modern Mali, with others expanding from what is now northeast Burkina Faso. Between 1810 and the arrival of European writer Heinrich Barth in 1854, Fulani Muslims led by Alfa Mohamed Diobo of Djenné had established the Emirate of Say. The reputation for piety and learning of Mohamed Diobo and his followers helped turn Say from a small river village into a town of 30,000, famed across West Africa as a center of learning.

Administrative divisions of Niger

Niger is governed through a four layer, semi-decentralised series of Administrative divisions. Begun 1992, and finally approved with the formation of the Fifth Republic of Niger on 18 July 1999, Niger has been enacting a plan for Decentralisation of some state powers to local bodies. Prior to the 1999-2006 project, Niger's subdivisions were administered via direct appointment from the central government in Niamey. Beginning with Niger's first municipal elections of 2 February 1999, the nation started electing local officials for the first time. Citizens now elect local committee representatives in each Commune, chosen by subdivisions of the commune: "Quarters" in towns and "Villages" in rural areas, with additional groupings for traditional polities and nomadic populations. These officials choose Mayors, and from them are drawn representatives to the Department level. The same process here chooses a Departmental council and Prefect, and representatives to the Regional level. The system is repeated a Regional level, with a Regional Prefect, council, and representatives to the High Council of Territorial Collectives. The HCCT has only advisory powers, but its members have some financial, planning, educational and environmental powers. The central government oversees this process through the office of the Minister of State for the Interior, Public Safety and Decentralization.

Abala, Niger is a village and rural commune in Niger.

Harikanassou Commune and village in Dosso, Niger

Harikanassou is a large village and rural commune in the Boboye Department of the Dosso Region of southwest Niger, 90.7 kilometres (56.4 mi) by road southeast of the capital of Niamey. At the time of the 2012 census, the rural community had 23,567 residents living in 3,340 households. Onion cultivation is a chief source of income for many, along with the cultivation of lettuce, beans, squashes, and tomatoes.

Tamou is a village and "Rural commune" in Niger. The town is capital of its Rural Commune in the Say Department of Tillabéri Region, in the far southwest of the nation. It is southwest of Niamey, on the right (western) bank of the Niger River, between the departmental capital Say and the border of Burkina Faso. Tamou Commune is home to the Tamou Total Reserve, a wildlife reserve which is part of the larger W National Park and Transborder Reserve. The Tamou Reserve, in which local people also live, is primarily dedicated to the protection of African Elephant populations which migrate through the region.

Tondikandia is a rural commune in Filingué Department, Tillabéri Region, Niger. Its chief place and administrative center is the town of Damana.

Torodi is a small town and a rural commune in Niger. As a rural center, Torodi hosts a large weekly market and the seat of local tribal authority (canton). Torodi is in the Say Department of the Tillaberi Region, which surrounds the national capital, Niamey. Say Department, with its capital at the large Niger River town of Say, abuts Niamey to the southwest and across the river to the west. The town of Torodi lies about 60 km due west of the city of Say and 50 km east of the border with Burkina Faso. Torodi itself lies on a tributary of the Niger, the Gourbi river.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Niamey, Niger.

This article lists events from the year 2020 in Niger.

Issaka Assane Karanta is a Nigerien academic, academic administrator, and politician. He served as the Mayor of Commune I of Niamey from 1996 to 1999 and the Mayor of Commune III of Niamey from 2010 to 2011. Karanta also served as the Governor of Niamey Capital District, which encompasses the capital city of Niamey, from 2018 until his death in office from COVID-19 on 23 December 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Niger.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Assane Seydou Sanda-elu-maire-de-la-ville-de-niamey&catid=34:actualites&Itemid=53 Installation du Conseil de ville de Niamey et élection des membres : M. Assane Seydou Sanda, élu maire de la ville de Niamey. Laouali Souleymane, Le Sahel (Niamey). 1 July 2011
  2. National Statistics Institute of Niger. "Structure of the Population RGPH 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  3. National Statistics Institute of Niger. "Demographic Projections for Niger 2012-2024" . Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  4. "Niger: Regions, Departments, Communes, Cities, Localities and Municipal Arrondissements - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts".
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Geels, Jolijn, (2006) Bradt Travel Guide - Niger, pgs. 93-113
  6. International Boundary Study No. 146 – Burkina Faso-Niger Boundary (PDF), 18 November 1974, retrieved 5 November 2019
  7. Britannica, Niamey,, USA, accessed on July 7, 2019
  8. Aloko-N'Guessan, Jérôme; Diallo, Amadou; Motcho, Kokou Henri (2010). Villes et organisation de l'espace en Afrique. Karthala Editions. pp. 30–31. ISBN   978-2-8111-0339-2.
  9. 1 2 According to Statsoid Archived 2009-07-24 at the Wayback Machine : "~1992: Tillabéry Region split from Niamey (whose FIPS code was NG05 before the change). Status of Niamey changed from Region to capital district."
  10. 1 2 Perotti, Luigi; Dino, Giovanna Antonella; Lasagna, Manuela; Moussa, Konaté; Spadafora, Francesco; Yadji, Guero; Dan-Badjo, Abdourahamane Tankari; De Luca, Domenico A. (1 November 2016). "Monitoring of Urban Growth and its Related Environmental Impacts: Niamey Case Study (Niger)". Energy Procedia. 97: 37–43. doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2016.10.014 . ISSN   1876-6102.
  11. "Klimatafel von Niamey (Aéro) / Niger" (PDF). Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  12. "Stationsnummer 61052" (PDF). Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  13. "Niger: Regions, Cities & Urban Centers - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information". Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  14. "Niamey Population 2020 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs)". Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  15. 1 2 3 Patrick Gilliard, and Laurent Pédenon "Rues de Niamey, espace et territoires de la mendicité" Politique africaine, Paris (October 1996) no.63 pp. 51–60.
  16. J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann, ‘‘Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices’’, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2010, p. 2103
  17. Haut Commissariat à la Réforme Administrative: loi N°2002-016 bis du 11 une 2002.
  18. (in French) Adamou Abdoulaye. Parcours migratoire des citadins et problème du logement à Niamey Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine . Département de Géographie, Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (2005).
  19. 1 2 Decalo, Samuel (1997). Historical Dictionary of the Niger (3rd ed.). Boston & Folkestone: Scarecrow Press. ISBN   0-8108-3136-8. pp. 225–227
  20. FAO (2003), Section VI
  21. Amadou Oumarou. Etat et contexte de la fourniture des services publics dans la commune urbaine de Say Archived 3 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine . LASDEL – Laboratoire d'études et recherches sur les dynamiques Sociales et le développement local, Niamey, Niger. (April 2007)
  22. (in French) "Inauguration of the first train station in Niamey" (Radio France Internationale)
  23. "A 80 Year-long Wait: Niger Gets its First Train Station" (Global Voices Online)
  24. "African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) -".