For many years, relations between Germany and the Niger were focused on development cooperation. However, the two countries have diversified their ties during the last few years to include regional security and migration and have dramatically increased their links.
Due to Germany’s security policy engagement in the Sahel region and the air transport base in Niamey, which facilitates access to supplies and medical evacuations for the German contingent to MINUSMA, the German public has become more aware of the country.
Alongside Nigeria, Norway and the UN, Germany is a co-initiator of the cooperation among the provinces in the Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad bordering on Lake Chad, which is aimed at stabilising the Lake Chad region and aiding the transition from humanitarian emergency to security and development.
What is more, the German Government is promoting nationwide measures to foster stability and peacekeeping, for example on border security, police training and the peaceful co-existence of different population groups.
The security sector is receiving support in the areas of logistics and military engineering. The Federal Foreign Office regularly provides humanitarian assistance during supply crises.
The Niger is a key transit country for migration in sub-Saharan Africa. Projects aimed at improving the management of migration, at preventing organised crime as well as a multi-annual regional programme run by the International Organization for Migration to assist migrants and facilitate their return and reintegration, have also been funded.
Cooperation on development and migration policy
Since 1962, bilateral technical and financial cooperation between Germany and the Niger has amounted to just under one billion euros – a quarter of this sum since 2017. The cooperation focuses on decentralisation and good governance as well as productive agriculture and food security. In addition, there are projects on healthcare and primary education. What is more, there are components on migration management and the creation of alternative sources of income outside the migration economy.
In the European context, the EU is the Niger’s most important donor. Conversely, the Niger is the largest recipient of EU development funds and funding from the EU’s Trust Fund for Africa.
Within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy, the civilian EU mission EUCAP Sahel Niger is training the country’s security forces at Niamey and Agadez.