|Republic of Niger|
|UN Member State|
Niger, officially known as the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country is Western Africa. It was named after the Niger River. It gained its independence from France in 1960. After its independence is experienced single-party military rule until 1991. Public pressure caused the government to allow a multi-party election which lead to a democratic government to be elected in 1993.
Niger has a predominantly Islamic population of 16 million people. It is one of the lowest ranked countries in the United Nations' Human Development Index. It is 186th out of 187 countries. Niger's development has been hindered by its desert terrain, poor education and poverty, lack of infrastructure, poor health care and its environmental degradation.
Niger has friendly relations with the West and Islamic world, is also has a good relationship with its former colonial power, France. Niger has some dispute with Benin over the Lete Island. This dispute almost caused a war to break out between the two countries. The dispute was solved by peaceful means. In 2001 the matter was taken to the International Court of Justice to get finally settle the matter. The Court ruled in favour of Niger.
In Niger the State controls much of the nation’s broadcasting, though there is a growing number of private radio stations.