Business and Investment Opportunities

Niger’s economy has been traditionally largely based on subsistence crops and livestock. Drought cycles and desertification contribute to the ranking of Niger on the bottom of the Human development index, with a relatively low GDP and per capital income.

Niger is at the same time a land of opportunities with various assets:

  • Niger has vast land areas suitable for the development of more intensive agro- and pastoral-business
  • Niger’s basement is rich in mineral resources as uranium, oil and gas, gold, iron, phosphates, coal, limestone, gypsum, cassiterite, etc.

This requires a significant diversification of the economy with the development of a national and international dynamic private sector within clear and favourable regulatory and institutional framework. Niger is today a changing country and offers significant opportunities to both consultants and service providers, contractors and suppliers as well as investors. Such a development contributes getting young people into the labour market and to overall wealth and stability.

Regulatory and Institutional Framework

Niger has undertaken major reforms to provide an attractive institutional, tax and legal framework for investments and to improve business climate. Among the provisions and measures taken, following can be highlighted:

  1. The Investment Code has been revised to stimulate investments and job creation by providing tax benefits for investors as well as several other benefits including among others:
  • Facilities for the acquisition of the right to exercise and property,
  • Possibility of using the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID),
  • Unlimited opportunities to transfer profits and revenues,
  • Speedy approval procedures
  1. The One-Stop Shop for business start-ups which has made it possible to combine in one place all forms of business creation services. This made it possible to reduce all formalities for starting a business to 3 days. Among other initiatives to promote development of formal business activities, the minimum capital for the creation of a limited liability company has also been reduced from 1.000.000 CFA Francs to 100.000 CFA francs.
  2. The Mining Code and the Oil and Gas Code defines simplified procedures for granting prospecting, research and exploitation permits and which provide specific advantages to investors, including the tax conditions as well as the right to export the production as well as the free transfer of funds.
  3. The Public Procurement Code which grant access to public tenders and establish clear and transparent procedures for awarding public contracts
  4. The law governing public-private partnerships (PPP), which enables the country to benefit from an attractive framework for the funding of large-scale projects in the infrastructure, agricultural and social housing sectors. A support Unit for the Public and Private Partnerships (Cellule d’Appui au PPP: CAPPP) has been established at the Prime Minister’s Office. As well as Special Commission for PPP Contracts.
  5. The Reviewed Code of Labour provides several benefits to investors including freedom of employment and easy access to work visas for foreigners.
  6. The National Customs Code which offers several advantages to both national and foreign investors through a range of economic, suspensive and special regimes.
  7. Institutional measures:
  • Establishment of the High Council for Investment in Niger (Conseil National des Investisseurs Privés: CNIP) as a framework for dialogue between the State and national and foreign investors to improve the business environment and promote investments.
  • The creation of a Permanent Consultative Committee (Conseil Consultatif Permanent: CCP) between the Ministry of Trade and Promotion of the Private Sector and the Niger Chamber of Commerce and Industry to find solutions to the concerns of economic operators.
  • The creation of the Mediation and Arbitration Centre in Niamey (Centre de Médiation et d’Arbitrage du Niger: CMAN) offering simple and fast alternative to commercial disputes.
  • The creation of the Niger Commercial Court in Niamey, which will speed up the treatment of commercial disputes.

The “Code of Investments in the Republic of Niger” exist in an English version. To access the English version, click on the image above. All the specific codes mentioned in the text beside can all be required in the French version. Don’t hesitate to contact the Embassy for any information or support to develop business activities in Niger.

To access the brochure “Invest in Niger”, click on the image above. Some useful links :
La Maison de l’Entreprise : http://mde.ne
eRegulations Niger : https://niger.eregulations.org
Le tribunal de Commerce de Niamey : http://www.tribunalcommerceniamey.org
Institut National de la Statistique : http://www.stat-niger.org

Business sectors

Agriculture

In the field of agriculture, with 15 million ha of cultivable land, including 270.000 ha of irrigable land in the areas of Irhazer, the Niger River valley and the Komadougou-Yobe valley, outside the subsistence agriculture, Niger has a significant production of beans, onions, rice, tiger nuts, sesame, groundnuts, garlic, pepper, gum arabic, cotton etc. The increasing regional demand, especially for these cash crops, combined with the impact of the “3N” project (les Nigériens Nourissent les Nigeriens), represents significant opportunities to develop the agricultural production and processing both as large scale projects as well as local development projects.

 

 

During the last 30 years, the production of onions has developed as a very successful export product to countries as fare as Ivory Coast. Her, Onions waiting to be picked up by trucks in the village of Galmi in central Niger.

Livestock

Even if, the livestock sector contributes in a large extend to the subsistence economy, livestock and livestock related products are increasingly exported to neighbouring countries especially Nigeria and represent more than 20% of Niger’s export incomes. The livestock sector is thus a growth area with significant potential for valorisation and export of meat, dairy products, leather and other.

In 2015 the total number of heads of livestock in Niger was estimated to about 43.000.000 heads, more than 2 by inhabitant. Here cattle are waiting to be watered at a pastoral well.

Industry and handicraft

Industry and handicraft activities in Niger are mostly related to the transformation and valorisation of agro-pastoral products represent a major assets of the country’s economic development in terms growth and generation of jobs. The concerned products are i.e. ground nuts, cowpea, onion, hides and skins, meat, milk, fruit, water, cotton. Many initiatives carried out at institutional level by Government aims at promoting the sector. In recent years a series of small and medium size industries have been created. The challenge for parts of the transformation and valorisation industry is its development, both in quantity and quality to achievements significant growth and substitution of informal or imported products.

The arts and crafts sector is one of the areas contributing to the socio-economic development of the country with 900,000 people involved. It is one of the expression of national identity through “national crafts” such as jewellery, leatherwork, weaving and pottery. Above, a weaver at the National Museum of Niger in Niamey.

 

The cement factory (s) in Malbaza (about 400 km Est of Niamey) are located due to the presence of raw materials necessary for the production. The establishment of other production industries based on the country’s important natural resources, such as the fertilizer production, represents important investment and development opportunities for Niger.

Mining

The mineral resources of Niger are significant: uranium (more than 300,000 tons), coal (90 million tons), iron (more than 9 billion tons), gold (more than 30 tons), phosphate (more than 1 billion tons), salt (25 million tons), limestone, gypsum etc.

Most of these resources are exploited in a certain extended. Thus, the country is the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium. But, the potentialities to develop and diversify the exploitation of Niger’s natural resources are considerable.

The SOMAÏR uranium mine in north-western Niger, near the city of Arlit

 

 

Energy

Niger is the 5th sunniest country in the world. Hydropower sites on the Niger River basin could represent up to 280 MW. Thus, Niger possess invaluable potential in renewable energy. Furthermore, Niger has significant mineral coal (90 million tons), crude oil (1.18 billion barrels oil in place) and natural gas (18.6 billion m3).

In a context of energy deficit in most of the countries in the region, despite own resources and opportunities, Niger is dependent on imports to satisfy the growing energy demand. Significate investment within the sector are under way or already been launched as the Kandadji dam project, but they should be supplemented with public / private partnership (PPP) investments.

The refinery in Zinder

Transport and Infrastructure

In the context of the size of the territory and its geographical landlocked position, the Government of Niger has established an ambitious transport policy. This requires significant investments where several of the major projects are discussed with Niger’s international partners as well as with private operators. Among the projects can be mentioned: investments in the development of road infrastructure across the country, the rehabilitation of the airport in Niamey as well as in Zinder, Maradi and Agadez, the railway loop (Port Cotonou-Niamey­Ouagadougou-Abidjan), as well as a dry port in Dosso.

The roads in Niger stretches about 18 950 kilometres. About 21 % of them are classified as primary roads.
Here the road from Zinder connecting to Diffa and the Tchad Lake.

 

 

Tourism

Niger has important cultural, fauna, archaeological and magnificent tourist resources. Never the less, during the last 10 to 20 years, the security issues have harmed significantly the tourism industry in Sahel. At the same time, the sector has benefited from an increase the so-called “business tourism” related to business or official missions as well as to the participation in conferences etc. This activity represents about 70% of the sectors turnover and has led to new private investments in hotels especially in Niamey.  With the positive development of the stability in Niger combined with the growing demand for hotels and restaurants at business standard, in coming years, the sector represents significant private sector investment opportunities.

Built in 1979, the Hotel Gaweye, with its 200 rooms and 36 suites,
has long been the largest and most prestigious hotel in Niger