Space Program of Niger
------The Nigerien Space Agency------
Level = 0 Development: Very Low
What has been going on in Niger?
What kind of space power do they have?
Does Niger have space weapons?
What are they planning over there?
Population: 14,000,000 / Language: French / GDP: $900 / Cities: Niamey
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A vast, arid state on the edge of the Sahara desert, Niger endured austere military rule for much of its post-independence history and is rated by the UN as one of the world's least-developed nations.
The drought-prone country sometimes struggles to feed its people. Its main export, uranium, is prone to price fluctuations and agriculture is threatened by the encroaching desert. Niger is bargaining on oil exploration and gold mining to boost its fortunes.
Historically a gateway between North and sub-Saharan Africa, Niger came under French rule in the late 1890s.
After independence in 1960 its progress was stymied by political instability and a five-year drought, which devastated livestock and crops.
With little primary education, Niger has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. Its health system is basic and disease is widespread.
In 1990 a revolt by Tuareg tribes, who accused the government of failing to deliver on promised economic aid, developed into an armed rebellion, ending only in the mid-1990s. The re-integration of former combatants is still under way.
In 1999 voters overwhelmingly approved a new constitution providing for presidential and legislative multi-party elections. These took place later in the year and saw Mamadou Tandja elected as president.
Niger banned the centuries-old practice of slavery in 2003. But anti-slavery organisations say thousands of people still live in subjugation.
President: Mamadou Tandja
Former military man Mamadou Tandja won a second and final term in the second round of presidential elections in December 2004.
Niger's Space Infrastructure
Niger is one of the world's poorest countries, with possibly the least developed space infrastructure in the world. Not only does it certainly not have an agency, but also no infrastructure in which one would arise. Its only university was recently shut down after student riots disrupted normal operations. The university did not have any space related educational architecture, lacking astrophysics, astronautics, aeronautics and natural sciences. The government has no ministry devoted to science of
Niger has no history of being part of any organization dealing with space, nor has any launch capability.
Niger lacks the industrial base, the educational base and the political foundation for a process like this to occur within it. It has no functioning university with an astrophysics or astronautics program, and nonexistant industry.
Niger operates no satellites and, not having a presence, has no space power.
The government of Niger in Niamey has no plans for attempting to further any ambition in space development or research.
Timeline of Events in Niger
...From the Past to the Future
1890 - French occupy Niger.
1958 - Niger becomes autonomous republic of the French Community.
1960 - Niger becomes independent; parliament elects Diori Haman president.
1968-73 - Severe drought devastates Niger's livestock and crop production.
1974 - Diori Herman overthrown in military coup led by Lt-Col Seyni Kountche.
1987 - Ali Seybou, the armed forces chief of staff, succeeds Kountche who dies of a brain tumour.
1989 - A new constitution brings Niger back to civilian rule, but under a one-party system; Seybou re-elected president.
Ban on parties lifted
1990 - Seybou legalizes opposition parties following a wave of strikes and demonstrations.
1990 - Rebellion by Tuareg people in the north begins.
1991 July - Constitutional conference strips Seybou of his powers and sets up a transitional government under Andre Salifou.
1992 - New constitution allowing multiparty elections ratified.
1993 - Mahamane Ousmane elected president and his coalition, the Alliance of the Forces of Change wins a majority of seats in parliament.
1995 - Ceasefire between the government and the Tuareg's Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Sahara comes into effect.
1996 January - Ousmane ousted in a coup led by Colonel Ibrahim Mainassara, who bans all political parties.
1996 May - New constitution giving the president increased powers approved in a referendum; ban on political parties lifted.
1996 July - Mainassara wins presidential election.
1997 - The Democratic Renewal Front, a hard-line Tuareg group, signs peace accord with government.
1999 April - Major Daouda Wanke assumes power following the assassination of Mainassara by his bodyguards.
1999 August - New constitution restoring the balance between the legislative and executive branches of power approved in a referendum.
1999 October and November - Mamadou Tandja elected president and his party, the National Movement for the Society in Development, wins majority of seats in parliament.
2001 January - Niger bans hunting in an effort to save its wildlife population, which includes the lion, the giraffe and the hippopotamus.
2002 August - Soldiers mutiny in the east and in the capital and demand the payment of wage arrears and better conditions. The rebellions are put down.
2003 January - US President George W Bush claims Iraq tried to acquire uranium from Niger for its nuclear programme. Claim also made in UK's September 2002 dossier on Iraq.
2003 March - Nuclear watchdog tells UN that documents relating to Iraq-Niger uranium claim are forged, concludes specific allegations are unfounded.
2004 July - First-ever local elections. Parties backing the president win most of the seats.
2004 December - President Mamadou Tandja wins a second term in office with 65.5% of the vote in a second-round ballot.
2005 March - A planned ceremony at which some 7,000 slaves were to be freed is cancelled after the government claims that slavery does not exist in Niger.
Widespread protests over tax increases of up to 20% on basic goods.
2005 July - UN warns that millions of people face severe malnutrition because of food shortages caused by drought and locust infestations.
International Court of Justice awards Niger most of the river islands along its disputed border with Benin.
2005 November - World Food Programme warns that three million people could run out of food within months.
2006 June - Unions call a national strike to protest against the high cost of living.
Health and educations ministers are sacked following pressure from donors who allege corruption.
President prays for rain.
2006 July - Aid agencies warn of dwindling supplies of food. The World Food Programme says it is already feeding 1,5 million people.
TODAY AND INTO THE FUTURE