Its geographical location makes it a crossroads for trade between North Africa and Africa south of the Sahara. Located in West Africa between the parallels 11°37 and 23°33 north latitude on the one hand, and the meridians 16° east longitude and 0°10 west longitude on the other hand, Niger covers 1,267 000 km2. It is the largest country in West Africa and ranks 6th continentally (after Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Libya and Chad) . Most of the major cities are concentrated in the south of the country, the north being arid or hyper-arid (Sahara).
The strength of the country’s social cohesion is arguably the “joking kinship” or “joking cousinship” that allows different groups to criticize each other smoothly. It is an excellent means of reducing inter-ethnic problems and it makes Nigerien society a tolerant society.
The Network of Public Reading Libraries comprises about thirty libraries. Added to this is the network of university libraries.
The official language of Niger is French. Niger is a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie as well as the International Organization of La Francophonie. The national languages are about ten in number which are:
It should also be added the gourmantché, the toubou (en) and Boudouma which are languages also spoken by a small part of the population. English is present, because Hausa people from Nigeria are settled in Niger, and the exchanges between the two countries are important.
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