Niger is an independent nation in Western Africa. With the capital city of Niamey, Niger 2020 population is estimated at 24,206,655 according to countryaah. Cave paintings and archaeological finds testify that people have lived in the Sahara in northern Niger for over 40,000 years. As the desert has spread, the residents have moved south.
A few centuries after the beginning of our era, two powerful kingdoms were established, which included parts of today’s Niger. In the 600s, the Kingdom of Songhai was founded in today’s Mali and the kingdom expanded into southwestern Niger. In the 8th century, the kingdom of Kanem arose in the east around the border to what is today Chad. Both Songhai and Kanem took advantage of a favorable position on the trade routes of the time. Kanem also benefited from iron mining around Lake Chad.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Niger, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
From the 9th century onwards, Tuaregs (a Berber people) migrated into Niger from the north, while livestock-eating hausa migrated from the east. For Niger political system, please check computerminus.
During the 1000s, both Songhai’s and Kanem’s princes converted to Islam and the new religion spread within the upper class in the cities.
Songhai experienced its heyday during the second half of the 15th century, but was conquered by Morocco in the late 16th century. During the 1400s, civil war and decay existed within Kanem, but the kingdom then rose again, now with Bornu west of Lake Chad as the center. Descendants of the royal dynasty in Bornu sat on the throne until 1846.
Niger is colonized
At the beginning of the 19th century, the first European explorers arrived. France began its colonization of the area in the 1880s and in 1904 formed the colony of French West Africa, which included today’s Niger. In 1921 Niger became a colony of its own.
The colonization took place quickly and brutally. French administrators were deployed and the power of traditional chieftains trimmed. In 1930, peanuts were started growing and livestock farming was encouraged. But it was only when uranium was discovered in Niger in 1959 that France began to show some greater interest in the colony.
From the late 1940s, domestic political parties began to emerge. Main rivals became the conservative and French-friendly Hamani Diori and leftist politician Djibo Bakary, who advocated immediate independence. In a 1958 referendum, Diori’s line won and Niger became an autonomous republic within the French Commonwealth that year. Bakary went into exile and his party Sawaba (Independence) was banned. When Niger became independent in 1960, Diori became the country’s first president.
The army attacks al-Qaeda
The government army reports that it has attacked a column belonging to the al-Qaeda terror network in northern Niger. At the attack, three terrorists are killed and 50 captured people are freed.
PNDS forms partial alliances
President Issoufou’s ruling party PNDS joins some small parties in a new alliance called the Nigerian Rebirth Movement (MRN).
Alleged murder attempt on Issoufou
A number of soldiers and civilians are arrested accused of planning to assassinate President Issoufou.
Tandja is acquitted and released
Imprisoned President Tandja is released after a court of appeal has dropped all charges against him. The Court held that the lower court that sentenced Tandja to prison did not have the powers to try a former head of state.
Tuareg becomes new prime minister
Mahamadou Issoufou takes over as president and promises to prioritize the fight against poverty and food shortages. Issoufou appoints Tuareg, Brigi Rafini, as new prime minister for a government consisting mainly of ministers from Issoufou’s party PNDS and Hama Amadou’s party Moden.
Mahamadou Issoufou wins the presidential election
the 12th of March
Mahamadou Issoufou, leader of the former opposition party Nigerian Democracy and Socialism (PNDS), wins the second and decisive round of the presidential election with 58 percent of the vote. He is victorious over former Prime Minister Seyni Oumarou, who is running for President Tandja’s ousted National Social Development Movement (MNSD) party.
General elections are conducted
Presidential and parliamentary elections are held. Among the presidential candidates are former Prime Ministers Seyni Oumarou and Hama Amadou, as well as opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou, who wins in the first round of elections. Oumarou, who is running for President Tandja’s deposed National Social Development Movement (MNSD), comes second. Issoufou and Oumarou are thus moving on to a second round of elections in March. Issoufou’s party The Nigerian Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) is the largest in parliament.
Two Frenchmen are kidnapped and killed
Two Frenchmen are kidnapped by the extreme Islamist movement Aqim when they visit a restaurant in the capital Niamey. They are killed by the kidnappers during a French-backed exemption attempt a week later.