Niger’s principal economic and social indicators are testimony to the significant progress the country has made in recent years. Even so, they have not produced a marked reduction in poverty or a tangible improvement in indicators linked to certain Millennium Development Goals. Some of these goals will probably be attained nevertheless – universal education, the reduction of infant mortality, the combat against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and access to drinking water – provided that current efforts are maintained.
Niamey has a history stretching back seven centuries, but it became more prominent with the colonial penetration of the last century. In 1951, it became the first urban area in Niger with 11,790 inhabitants. In 1960, it hosted 1 percent of the national population (30,000 inhabitants), and it gained city status in 1965. The city has grown exponentially since the 1970s, faster than the national average. By 2010, Niamey had 1.2 million inhabitants – 40 percent of the urban population and 8 percent of the national population.
The causes of this upsurge in the urban population include natural growth and rural–urban exodus (these migrations result from cyclical famines and the attraction of urban economic opportunities). The population of Niamey is characterized by its relative youth; young people under 20 years of age represent 55 percent of the population, while those over 60 are only 3 percent.
Phase 1: Urban profiling – completed
Phase 2: Action planning and programme document formulation – completed
Phase 3: Project implementation – evaluation status