Niger Poorest Country

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Why is Niger one of the poorest countries in the world?
Many African countries are still struggling to follow the path leading to development, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Niger, a former French colony, is the 4th exporter of Uranium in the world, an oil producer, with substantial deposits of phosphates, coal, iron, limestone, and gypsum. Niger is rich in mineral resources. Yet, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world while other countries, like Japan, have managed to find their way to development without those resources. Niger is the last country in term of Human Development Index (HDI) according to the last Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Program. How can a country so rich in resources be amongst
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It represents the second largest source of export. However, Niger’s agricultural industry cannot satisfy its own population because its production of food doesn’t meet the demand. Although only 4% of Niger’s land is arable, “the agricultural industry is mainly based upon internal markets, subsistence farming, herding, small trading, seasonal migration and informal markets and export” (Niger Honorary Consulate UK). In the last years, severe drought and floods brought famine in the country. In 2012, Mark Tran, a reporter of The Guardian, wrote: “At the best of times this vast landlocked country [Niger] – whose estimated 14.7 million people mostly live along a narrow strip of arable land on its southern border – has trouble feeding itself” (Tran). According to the Nigerien government, “Up to 6 million people in Niger are facing severe food shortages with agencies calling for $1 billion to head off the impending crisis” (Nigerien Honorary Consulate UK). This suggest that structural problems in the agricultural sector and climate changes have led the country to food insecurity which end up in famine in the worst case scenario. The underdevelopment of Niger’s agricultural sector unable the country to satisfy its own food demand and this largely contribute to the global underdevelopment of the country. Knowing that agriculture is only the second largest source of export, one might wonder the role played by Niger’s…show more content…
Poverty is very accentuated. Niger has a GDP per capita of only $427.4 as of 2014. It is the last country in term of Human Development Index with an HDI of 0.348 as of 2015. It is hard to break the vicious cycle of poverty because education is still not accessible and affordable for the vast majority of the population. According to the United Nations Development Program, one Nigerien will have only between 4 and 6 years of schooling on average and the UNESCO reports that Niger’s Literacy rate is at 19.1% as of 2015. The economy is deficient and the overall national budget has a negative balance because the imports a more important compared to the exports. More, the exports only contribute a small portion of the country’s budget. As a result, Niger is heavily dependent on foreign Aid and about 40% of Niger’s budget is financed by foreign aid mainly from France, and the United States of America. The inability of its agricultural sector to satisfy the demand and the weak purchase power of the population results in food insecurity that often becomes a widespread famine. Overall, the impact of this situation is the accentuation of poverty in the

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