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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Niger

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Niger: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Niger

A lightweight suit and tie are generally acceptable. A knowledge of French is essential, as interpreters are not readily available and executives seldom speak English.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1230 and 1500-1830; Sat 0800-1230.

Economy

Niger is one of the world's poorest countries. Around 90% of the population is employed in agriculture, although less than 5% of the land is cultivated. This situation is exacerbated by the ever-expanding Saharan desert, drought and locust plagues.

Less than one-tenth of the crops grown are cash crops, the rest being for domestic consumption. The nomadic population rears livestock. Niger's most valuable commodity is uranium. Gypsum, coal and tin ore are also extracted and oil deposits may exist.

In 2005, the IMF approved 100% relief of Niger's US$86 million debt burden. Inflation was at 7.8% in 2005, and annual growth at 3.5% in 2006.

Membership of the CFA Franc Zone affords some monetary stability. Niger is a member of West African trading bloc, ECOWAS.

GDP

US$3.6 million (2006 estimate).

Main exports

Uranium, livestock, cowpeas and onions.

Main imports

Foodstuffs, machinery, vehicles, petroleum and consumer goods.

Main trading partners

France, Nigeria, Russia, USA and China.

Keeping in Touch in Niger

Mobile Phone

Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Coverage is limited to urban areas.

Internet

Internet access can be found in major urban areas.

Media

The state controls the main TV and radio stations, but private radio stations are on the increase. Low literacy levels mean radio is the most important news outlet.

Post

Airmail to Western Europe takes up to two weeks.

Post Office hours

Generally 0730-1230 and 1530-1800.