It is a long, 14-hour drive from Niger’s capital city Niamey to the village of Bande. And the ride is a dreary one as the roadside is bare. The occasional, lone goat herder is spotted every few kilometres and the sightings become a cause of both confusion and excitement since there aren’t any trees, or watering holes in sight.
The government of Mali and Touareg rebels representing Azawad, a territory in northern Mali which declared unilateral independence in 2012 after a Touareg rebellion drove out the Malian army, resumed peace talks in Algiers last week, intended to end decades of conflict.
The bodies of 87 migrants were found in Niger's northern desert after they died of thirst just a few kilometres from the border of Algeria, their planned destination, security officials said.
For El Hadji Souley Moussa, a 60-year-old retired bank employee in Niger, “marrying off a daughter when she is young is a source of great pride. This way, she is protected from pregnancy outside of marriage.”
All eyes have turned to Libya since Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou’s statement claiming that recent attacks in north Niger were perpetrated by Malian terrorists based in south Libya.
A decade ago, less than a third of school-aged girls in Niger were in class. Today, though significant cultural and religious opposition remains, nearly two-thirds of girls are enrolled in school.
The Bilma community has mined the salt pans in the massive Ténéré desert region in northern Niger for centuries. But the threat of the ever-encroaching desert has become a real concern as locals here struggle to cope with a decline in salt prices.
About 20 communities in Tillabéri, west Niger, have been declared open defecation-free zones as across the country, very few people have access to proper sanitation.
Malian refugees in Mangaïze, northwest Niger, are keen to return home to start work and be able to support themselves once more.
When northern Malian refugees fled their country for Niger in 2012, they expected they would be able to return home shortly afterwards. But despite the armed intervention by the French army in the West African nation, few of the 50,000 Niger-based refugees are ready to leave for home just yet.
A column of Chadian soldiers – members of the region's most battle-hardened army – moved north from Niger's capital Niamey on Tuesday to join French and African forces battling to free northern Mali from the grip of armed Islamic groups.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by heavy flooding along the Niger River over the last few weeks. Niger, Mali and Benin have been particularly hard hit, with dozens of deaths, tens of thousands of houses destroyed and vast areas of farmland submerged by rising waters.
When her name is called, Rékia Djibo leaves the group of women gathered in front of the school in Toula, and takes a confident step towards the door. Djibo is one of the recipients of a cash transfer from the World Food Programme here on the outskirts of the southwestern Niger city of Tillabéri.
Four figures bend intently over their work in one corner of the large vegetable garden near the western Niger village of Dioga. Months after the village's main harvest has been brought in – and eaten up – the irrigated green of the garden is welcome relief in a part of the country where hunger never seems far away.
The Brazilian government is stepping up South-South aid, to strengthen the South American giant’s status as a donor country and its international clout. It now provides assistance to 65 countries, and its financial aid has grown threefold in the last seven years.