Last updated in June 2015
Public opinion in Niger holds Germany in high esteem. Germany opened an embassy in Niamey soon after Niger gained independence. It was reopened in late summer 2002 after being closed for nearly three years.
Bilateral relations focus on political dialogue with the government of Niger and development cooperation. Since 1962, Germany has provided more than EUR 750 million in bilateral Technical and Financial Cooperation.
Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou paid a visit to Germany in May 2013, meeting with Federal Chancellor Merkel, among others.
In 2002, a new course was charted for future bilateral development cooperation, with a stronger focus on priority areas. The foundation was laid for launching a rural poverty reduction programme, an approach combining all German development instruments in one multi-component programme. Germany supports Niger’s poverty reduction strategy, especially in the Tillaberi and Tahoua-North regions as well as in some municipalities in the Agadez region. Particular importance is attached here to promoting the decentralisation process in Niger’s young municipalities.
Owing to the domestic situation in Niger (dissolution of the Constitutional Court and an unconstitutional referendum), Germany – like the EU and other donors – had suspended development assistance in many areas (except humanitarian aid) in 2009. Development cooperation was resumed following the return to constitutional order in 2011.
At the intergovernmental negotiations in 2014, Germany pledged EUR 55.5 million in funding for the next three years: EUR 38 million for Financial Cooperation programmes and EUR 17.5 million for new Technical Cooperation projects. In April 2015, a special commitment of EUR 15 million in additional funding was made to help develop the country’s health care sector. German development cooperation with Niger focuses on decentralisation and good governance as well as productive agriculture and food security. There are also health care and basic education projects. Federal Foreign Office funding is being used to support a pilot project in judicial reform. In addition, conflict prevention projects are being funded in the north of the country.
Inadequate rainfall in 2011 had led to a poor harvest and a severe food crisis in the Sahel region. The Federal Government responded to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the region by making available more than EUR 12 million, which also benefited Niger. Humanitarian aid is also being made available to support refugees from Mali and Nigeria.
More than 40 experts and development aid workers are involved in bilateral development cooperation in Niger. Nigerien partners receive continuous further training in Germany and the West African sub-region. A friendship association between Germany and Niger provides an institution in Germany that brings together development aid workers and experts who share the experience of having worked in Niger.
In addition to its own activities, the Federal Government also provides financial support for the work of German non-governmental organisations in Niger, which has surged considerably since 2005.
In addition, since 2006 the Federal Government has provided EUR 3 million to support the Niger Basin Authority (ABN), a Niamey-based regional organisation.
The principal bilateral accords concluded between Germany and the Niger are an agreement on investment promotion of 29 October 1964 and an agreement on Technical Cooperation signed on 18 June 1977.