NIAMEY, city, SW Niger, capital of the country, on the Niger R.
A river port and road and trade center, the city manufactures pottery and bricks, leather goods, textiles, charcoal, metal products, soft drinks, and milled grain. Livestock, hides and skins, grain, vegetables, and locally made mats and textiles are exported.
NIGER, river, W Africa, rising in Guinea and flowing for about 4180 km (about 2600 mi) through Mali, Niger, and Nigeria to the Gulf of Guinea.
A French fort since 1902, Niamey succeeded Zinder as capital of the military territory. From 1927 to 1958 it served as capital of the autonomous Niger Territory. Founded at an unknown time as Niamma, it was later called Niame until the arrival of the French.
NIGER, REPUBLIC OF (Fr. République du Niger), republic, W Africa, bounded on the N by Algeria and Libya, on the E by Chad, on the S by Nigeria and Benin, and on the W by Burkina Faso and Mali. It has a total area of 1,267,000 sq km (489,190sq mi).
The climate of Niger is hot and, in most areas, dry. Rainfall, negligible in the N, increases to 813 mm (32 in) a year in the S. In the S a rainy season lasts from June to October. The average annual temperature at Niamey is 29.4° C (85° F).
The N desert of Niger has little vegetation. In the S are extensive savanna grasslands and, in the lowlands, a variety of trees, including baobab, tamarind, kepok, and a species of mahogany. Animal life includes elephant, buffalo, antelope, giraffe, and lion.
The majority of the population of Niger is composed of Hausa and Djerma, who are subsistence farmers in the S. Of the remaining population, most are Tuareg and Fulani, peoples who follow a nomadic life.
French is the official language, but Hausa is the language of local trade. Other African languages, such as Fulani, Tamachek, and Djerma, are also used extensively.