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Niger - Foreign Relations

Landlocked Niger has good relations with its neighbors, which it depends for its trade and security. It is part of a significant number of regional and subregional organizations, including the African Union, the West African States Economic Community, the G5 Sahel, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, the Standing Committee interstate fight against drought in the Sahel or the Authority of the Niger basin, with headquarters located in Niamey. Niger faced the threats to destabilize its neighbors. The armed insurrection Boko Haram northeast Nigeria pushed about 160 000 people to flee to Niger Diffa region. The Islamist group has also carried out several attacks in Nigerian territory from February 2015.

At least 40% of Niger's foreign trade is conducted with Nigeria (a figure including informal trade flows would likely be much higher) and it is the Hausa speaking areas on both sides of the border that account for this. That cultural commonality also ensures that much of the local seasonal labor flow ("exode") from Niger is directed toward Nigeria. People and ideas cross this border with frequency and ease.

Since March 2015, the Nigerian armed forces, with the Chadian army, operating in Nigerian territory against Boko Haram. They participated in the recovery of Damasak. Their involvement is intended to be part of a joint multinational force also consists of Nigerian elements, Chad, Cameroon and Benin. With the other States concerned, Niger has played a leading role in mobilizing the African Union and the international community against Boko Haram.

In Libya, the political crisis that followed the fall of Muammar Gaddafi favored the establishment in that country of terrorist groups, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoune, which act across the Sahel. The Niger plays, finally, an important role for the stabilization of Mali. Member of the international mediation by Algeria, which has facilitated the negotiation process between the Malian government and the armed groups of the north of the country, it also deploys nearly 900 men in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali.

Economically, France is the leading provider of Guinea with 18% market share and, although declining because of the very sharp slowdown in growth Guinean our trade continue to show a surplus (about 40 million in 2004). Guinea is the 103rd customer and 97th supplier of France. The main products exported by France are capital goods, pharmaceuticals, food products and refined petroleum products. The main imported products are non-ferrous ores. Regarding our economic presence, note that 25 French companies have subsidiaries in Guinea and 40 private companies established there (almost half of formal sector companies). The figures could be much higher if Guinea made the necessary efforts to improve the business environment today is characterized in particular by the failure of the judicial system and corruption. Culturally, the relations between the two countries are governed by a cooperation agreement, concluded on 26 June 1979 was known to jumpstart that ten years later, under the Second Republic.

In a country like Guinea where the state lacks the resources necessary for the fight against poverty which is its first priority, the culture tends to take second place concerns. Also, the presence in Conakry of a Franco-Guinean Cultural Centre (CCFG) drains a population of all ages and I must say that the major events cultural, such as the Book Fair the week of dancing and drumming, week of theater, Francophone week ... attract a large audience and quality. Not only in Conakry, but also in the regions, France has developed an implementation library program, accompanied by the required training, which met with great success. Facing a policy of "education for all", one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), better control of French by school children remained a concern that could be further addressed.

Apart from France, Niger has good relations with the United States and the European Union and with new partners like Turkey and China. It is present in the areas of uranium, oil and infrastructure, while relations with the US are focused on security issues.

The relations between the European Union and Niger are based on the Cotonou Agreement of June 2000. In addition, in September 2011, the European Union adopted a Sahel security and development strategy covering Mauritania, Mali and Niger. It was expanded in Chad and Burkina Faso when it was updated in November 2013. It outlines four lines of action: Development, good governance and the resolution of internal conflicts; Political and diplomatic action; Security and the rule of law; Prevention and the fight against violent extremism and radicalization.

In this context, the Eleventh European Development Fund provides for an allocation of EUR 596 million for the period 2014 to 2020. The areas of cooperation foreseen for this fund are food and nutrition security, resilience, capacity building The State for the implementation of social policies, security, governance and peacebuilding, the opening up of regions affected by insecurity and the risk of conflict, and support for civil society.

Niger is one of the beneficiaries of the European Union's Emergency Trust Fund for Stability and Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Migration and the Displaced Persons in Africa, created at the Valletta Summit Of November 2015. This fund is endowed with 1.8 billion euros of European funding, one billion of which is devoted to the Sahel and Lake Chad.

Primary partners for security cooperation include France, China, Algeria, and Morocco. Niger pursues a moderate foreign policy and maintains friendly relations with the West and the Islamic world, as well as nonaligned countries. It is a member of the United Nations and its main specialized agencies, and in 1980-81 served on the Security Council. Niger maintains a special relationship with France and enjoys close relations with its West African neighbors. Niger is once again a member in good standing of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and the African Union after having been suspended from late 2009 until the completion of the 2011 elections. It is a charter member of the African Union and the West African Monetary Union, and also belongs to the Niger River and Lake Chad Basin Commissions, the Nonaligned Movement, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In 2010, Niger was elected to the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Telecommunications Union.

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Page last modified: 07-05-2017 19:07:16 ZULU