Discover Niger

Niger is currently the lowest-ranked country in the world on the Human Development Index (HDI). Education in Niger is in crisis—especially higher education. The curriculum is based on the former French colonial system, which had a goal of producing civil servants. The national university system is dysfunctional. Due to student, faculty, and administrator strikes, it takes an average of five years for a university student to graduate with a three-year bachelor’s degree. This failure paved the way for hundreds of for-profit private companies to open colleges and universities which trade academic degrees for dollars.

To gain access to a quality higher education, the most talented students with the financial means to do so migrate to foreign countries and rarely return to Niger. Since the tertiary education options in Niger are so mediocre, graduates from these universities are completely unprepared to enter the workforce. Employers in Niger consistently report receiving hundreds of resumes for employment vacancies but finding themselves unable to identify a single qualified local candidate among the applicants. As a result, these companies hire expatriates even for mid-level positions.

Niger is a rapidly growing country of 20 million people, and we seek to help create a future in which talented and ethical young people will have the education and mindset to bring food, clean water, healthcare, and dignity to their fellow citizens.

Rapid population growth:

  • Niger has the highest population growth rate in the world (3.8%)
  • Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world (7.6 births per woman)

Extreme poverty:

  • $363 GDP per capita
  • Second lowest-ranked country in the world on the Human Development Index
  • More than 50% of Nigeriens live on less than $2 per day

Limited educational opportunities:

  • Adult (ages 15+) literacy rate: 19.1%
  • Adults in Niger possessing a higher education degree: 1-2%
  • Average gross enrollment rate, tertiary, for both sexes: 1.71%, compared to 8.95% regionally
  • Percentage of government expenditure on tertiary education: 13.9% (Regional Rank: 33/48)

Population: 20 milion

Opportunity sectors:

  • Oil: more than 1,200 million potential barrels of oil
  • Gas: more than 17 billion m3 potential gas production
  • Solar: more than 6 kWh/m2/day; highest sunlight rate on the planet
  • Mining: World’s 4th leading producer of uranium; 9 billion tons of iron; sub-soil contains uranium, coal, iron, gold, phosphate, salt, limestone, gypsum; more than 500 free permits
  • Agriculture: 15 billion hectares of arable land

Despite these disheartening statistics, 85% of Nigerien citizens report that they never feel unsafe walking in their neighborhoods.  This is the highest perceived safety of all 36 countries that participated in the 2014/2015 Afrobarometer Survey.