Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa facing many challenges, both in terms of development and in terms of security and humanitarian matters.
The country is bottom of the rankings of the Human Development Index of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), despite progress in terms of economic growth and social development in recent years. The food security situation is structurally fragile due to poor harvests linked to droughts and recurrent floods and because of the precarious conditions that large segments of the Nigerian society live in.
Europe has a strategic interest in Niger’s multifactorial stability that depends on situation security, socio-economic governance, poverty reduction among the populations, and a positive and inclusive democratic dynamic.
In connection with the EU’s new Sahel strategy adopted in April 2021, the scale and nature of European support will be determined by the efforts made by the Nigerien authorities. The framework for the MIP for 2021-2027 includes three priority objectives:
Strengthening governance is essential for the management of affairs and public resources, and a fundamental axis, both for the response to crises and shocks and for long-term development. First and foremost, it is a matter of consolidating democracy and inclusive governance, to strengthen social and political cohesion after elections. In accordance with EU regulations, this passes through the strengthening of national institutions and the effectiveness of public administration action, but above all by the accountability of the State.
Education and vocational training
This priority area will make a decisive contribution to the development of human capital, but also to key transformative cross-cutting dimensions. Our actions in favour of governance and an inclusive and green economy cannot bear fruit without the construction of a fair and effective education system.
Growth and the green economy
Stabilizing Niger over time will necessarily involve the country’s economic development. The insufficient diversification and mainly informal nature of Niger’s economic structure makes it vulnerable to shocks and is currently unable to generate jobs and the taxable base that the country needs long term. Most importantly, the economy is unable to allow the population to provide for their basic needs in terms of employment and services.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Niger for 2021-2024 amounts to €125 million.
Priority area 1: ‘’Governance’’ is improving the effectiveness and accountability of the democratic framework and the implementation of public policies, including the management of migration, and forced displacement. It also promotes the strengthening of peace and the return of security in the most fragile territories. Improved anticipation and management of crises and climatic/food shocks are also part of the agenda.
Priority area 2: ‘’ Education and vocational training’’ strengthens the governance of the Nigerien education system, primary and secondary, while providing effective and efficient technical and vocational education and training meeting the needs of the country's economy, especially for women.
Priority area 3: ‘’Growth and the green economy’’ increases the creation, expansion, and diversification of formal enterprises and decent jobs, develops bankable, sustainable agro-pastoral value chains, providers of employment, and contributes to the food and nutritional balance of local populations while supporting investment in Niger around respectful urban productive poles of the environment.
The EU's continued engagement with civil society in Niger has mainly resulted in support for civil society by focusing on the legitimacy of CSOs, the effectiveness of their work, and the opportunities for establishing a viable dialogue with the government.
To support civil society so that it becomes a legitimate, credible, and structured actor of governance, the EU Delegation will continue its work on strengthening the technical and financial capacities of the civil society, the improvement legislative and regulatory texts governing the status of CSOs, the establishment of an ethical charter for civil society and the structuring and sustainability of a dialogue between civil society and the government.