Meaning of NIGER in English


officially Republic of Niger, French Rpublique du Niger landlocked western African country. The republic has an area of 458,075 square miles (1,186,408 square kilometres). It is bounded on the northwest by Algeria, on the northeast by Libya, on the east by Chad, on the south by Nigeria and Benin, and on the west by Burkina Faso and Mali. The capital is Niamey. The country takes its name from the Niger River, which flows through the southwestern part of its territory. The name Niger derives in turn from the phrase gher n-gheren, meaning river among rivers, in the Tamashek language. state, west-central Nigeria. It consists mostly of wooded savannas and includes the floodplains of the Kaduna River. The state is bounded on the south by the Niger River. It is also bounded by the states of Kebbi and Sokoto on the north, Kaduna on the north and northeast, Kogi on the southeast, and Kwara on the south. The Abuja Federal Capital Territory is on Niger state's eastern border, and the Republic of Benin is its western border. Slave raiding by the Fulani armies of the Kontagora and Nupe emirates in the 19th century severely depopulated the region, and the presence of the tsetse fly (which transmits trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness) has hindered resettlement. Niger province was created by the British in 1908 and called Nupe province from 1918 to 1926; it included the Abuja, Agaie, Bida, Kontagora, and Lapai emirates, the Gwari (Gbari), Kamuku, and Wushishi chiefdoms, and the Zuru federation. In 1967 Niger province became the southern part of North-Western state, and in 1976 it became Niger state (excluding the newly created Abuja Federal Capital Territory). In 1991 part of northwestern Kwara state, lying between the Niger River and the Republic of Benin, was added to Niger state. Niger state is populated mainly by the Nupe people in the south, the Gwari in the east, the Busa in the west, and Kamberi (Kambari), Hausa, Fulani, Kamuku, and Dakarki (Dakarawa) in the north. Islam is the predominant religion. Most of the inhabitants are engaged in farming. Cotton, shea nuts, yams, and peanuts (groundnuts) are cultivated both for export and for domestic consumption. Sorghum, millet, cowpeas, corn (maize), tobacco, palm oil and kernels, kola nuts, sugarcane, and fish are also important in local trade. Paddy rice is widely grown as a cash crop in the floodplains of the Niger and Kaduna rivers, especially in the area around Bida. Cattle (mainly owned by the Fulani), goats, sheep, chickens, and guinea fowl are raised for meat. Pigs are raised around Minna for sale to southern Nigeria. Gold, tin, iron, and quartz (used by the glass artisans in Bida) are mined mainly for local craftsmen. Pottery, brasswork, glass manufactures, raffia articles, and locally dyed cloth are significant exports. Marble is quarried at Kwakuti, near Minna, the state capital; and Minna has a brickmaking factory. Niger state has a share in all three dams of the Niger Dams Project, including one at Shiroro Gorge on the Kaduna River and one at Jebba (in Kwara state), the reservoir of which lies partly in Niger state. The Kainji Dam (1969) and part of its reservoir, Kainji Lake, also lie in the state. Besides generating hydroelectric power, these dams sustain irrigation projects, and fishing has developed as an industry on their reservoirs. Most of Kainji Lake National Park (formerly Borgu Game Reserve) is in Niger state. Minna and Bida are the state's chief towns and also the main education centres, with teacher-training colleges, a polytechnic institute in Bida, and a federal university of technology in Minna. Near Bida there is a rice-research institute and an agricultural-research station. A railway from Lagos traverses Niger state. The main highway system runs north of the railway and serves the market towns of Mokwa, Kontagora, Tegina, Kagara, and Kusheriki. The state's other large towns are served by networks of local roads. Pop. (1991) 2,482,367. officially Republic of Niger, French Rpublique du Niger landlocked country of western Africa, covering an area of 458,075 square miles (1,186,408 square km). The capital is Niamey. Lying on the southern edge of the Sahara (desert), Niger is bounded on the northwest by Algeria, on the northeast by Libya, on the east by Chad, on the south by Nigeria and Benin, and on the west by Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) and Mali. Pop. (1993 est.) 8,516,000. Additional reading Arouna Hamidou Sidikou and Philippe Claude Chamard, Gographie du Niger (1976); and Pierre Donaint and Franois Lancrenon, Le Niger, 3rd ed. rev. and updated (1984), are general works. Ethnographic studies include Catherine Baroin, Anarchie et cohsion sociale chez les Toubo (1985); Angelo Maliki Bonfiglioli, Dudal: histoire de famille et histoire de troupeau chez un groupe de Wodaabe du Niger (1989); Peter Fuchs, Das Brot der Wste: Sozio-konomie der Sahara-Kanuri von Fachi (1983); Henri Guillaume, Les Nomades interrompus: introduction l'tude du canton twareg de l'Imanan (1974); Johannes Nicolaisen, Ecology and Culture of the Pastoral Tuareg (1963); Guy Nicolas, Dynamique sociale et apprhension du monde au sein d'une socit hausa (1975); Jean-Pierre Olivier De Sardan, Systme des relations conomiques et sociales chez les Wogo, Niger (1969); Marc Henri Piault, Histoire Mawri: introduction l'tude des processus constitutifs d'un tat (1970); and Makorema Zakari, Contribution l'histoire des populations du sud-est nigrien: le cas du Mangari (XVIeXIXe s.) (1985). Two city studies are Suzanne Bernus, Niamey: population et habitat (1962); and Edmond Bernus and Suzanne Bernus, Du Sel et des dattes: introduction a l'tude de la communaut d'In Gall et de Tegidda-n-tesamt (1972). Historical treatments include Edmond Sr de Rivires, Histoire du Niger (1965); Finn Fuglestad, A History of Niger, 18501960 (1983); Stephen Baier, An Economic History of Central Niger (1980); and Samuel Decalo, Historical Dictionary of Niger, 2nd ed. (1987). Finn Fuglestad Administration and social conditions Government The constitution promulgated in November 1960, which established a presidential regime, was suspended after the military coup of April 1974. The 14-year ban on political parties was abolished in 1988 (although the transition to democracy remained tenuous thereafter). Until 1989, executive power was held by a Supreme Military Council composed of army officers. The 1992 constitution established a new legislative National Assembly. The president is head of state and appoints the prime minister. Niger's first multiparty elections were held in 1993. Niger maintains a Supreme Court and a Court of State Security. At lower levels are the Court of Appeal, district courts, and justices of the peace. There are separate labour and assize courts. Niger is divided into eight dpartementsAgadez, Diffa, Dosso, Maradi, Niamey, Tahoua, Tillabry, and Zindereach of which is administered by a prefect. Each dpartement is divided into several arrondissements. Education Education in Niger is free, but only a small proportion of children attend school. Primary and secondary schools and teacher-training colleges are the responsibility of the Ministry of National Education. Other ministries are responsible for technical education. Niger has one of the lowest adult literacy rates in western Africa, and literacy programs are conducted in the five principal African languages. Niamey has a university, and the Islamic University of Niger at Say opened in 1987. Cultural life Niger forms part of the vast Sahelian cultural region of western Africa. Although the influence of Islam is predominant, pre-Islamic cultural traditions are also strong and omnipresent. Since independence, greater interest has been shown in the country's cultural heritage, particularly with respect to traditional architecture, handicrafts, dances, and music. With the assistance of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a regional centre for the collection of oral traditions has been established at Niamey. An institution prominent in cultural life is the National Museum at Niamey. Diould Laya The Editors of the Encyclopdia Britannica

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