Niger’s elections of 2020-21 marked the first peaceful democratic transfer of power in the country’s history, building on a series of headways in recent years, including in improved political representation of minority groups and reductions in poverty.
Situated at the heart of the Sahel, the country nevertheless continues to be confronted by profound developmental challenges and the pressures of a regional security crisis, particularly in its border regions.
Climate aridity and reliance on pastoralism and smallholder agriculture have also left the country vulnerable to the severe impacts of climate change and desertification, increasing the risks of instability and the persistence of poverty.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added further layers to the challenges of developing the country’s rural economy and creating and diversifying jobs for one of the world’s fastest growing and most youthful populations.
At this roundtable, HE Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger discusses his vision for Niger’s development and long-term democratic consolidation, including the priorities for ensuring that investments in education can facilitate socio-economic emancipation and stabilisation of demographic trends.
He also discusses the country’s role in promoting regional stability and cohesion, and its evolving influence as a key regional and international security partner.
The meeting was held in English and French with simultaneous interpretation.
HE Mohamed Bazoum, President, Republic of Niger
Chair: Dr Alex Vines, Director, Africa Programme, Chatham House