Niamey was founded in the 18th Century, however by 1900 it
had a population of just some six hundred people and even when
it became Niger's capital in 1926 it still only had a population
of just 3000, rising to around 700,000 today. The rapid increase
followed severe droughts throughout the twentieth century when
villagers made their way to Niamey in search of food, water and
employment, however most were deported back to their villages
under the regime of General Seyni Kountche.
Niamey straddles the River Niger (below), although is mostly located
on its right bank and its industries include cement manufacture,
ceramic goods, weaving and peanut farming. Visitors to Niamey
should take time to visit the Grand Mosque and the National
Museum, one of the best museums in Africa. A trip on the Niger
in a pirogue is also available if you're keen to see hippos
As in past years, Niger is currently suffering from a severe
and, once again, many are travelling to Niamey in the hope of
having their needs met. As of 2010 there are reports of women
from the outer reaches of Niamey coming into the city centre
begging for food. In fact as of 2010 it is estimated that around
half of all Niamey's population is 'food insecure' and clinics
in the city report that some 15% of all children going through
their doors is suffering from malnutrition.
This video documentary portrays positive images of Niamey,
however, under the gloss, Niamey, just as Niger itself, is
facing critical conditions through food and water shortages.
After you've watched the video, make a virtual landing at Niamey
International Airport belowthen explore Niamey using our
interactive map below.
View Larger Map