Niger (NE)

1.  Language information / Données sur les langues

1.1  Languages spoken / Langues parlées

a) Official / Officielle(s)

French, as stipulated in the constitution. (Written Arabic may also be used formally in courts) (Aménagement linguistique)

b) National, indigenous / Nationale(s), indigène(s)

All languages of Niger have the legal status of national languages (notably, in order of numerical importance, Hausa [~50%], Zarma [~25%], Fulfulde, Tamajaq, Kanuri, Gourmanché, Arabic). National languages may be used in the National Assembly and in oral arguments in court. (Aménagement linguistique)

Ethnologue lists 21 languages at

c) Relevant pages in the Major Languages section of this report / Pages appropriées dans la section de ce rapport sur les Langues principales

Hausa, Songhai/Zarma, Fula (Fulfulde), Berber (Tamajaq), Kanuri, Arabic

1.2  Language policy / Politique de langue

a) Laws/legislation / Lois/législation

The site L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde has a page on Niger at

b) Agencies / Agences

Four institutions "involved in or responsible for African Language research" in Niger (UNESCO 1985). Updated information is needed:

  1. Centre d'études linguistiques et historiques par la tradition orale (CELHTO), B.P. 878 - NIAMEY [this is actually an interAfrican agency)
  2. Ecole des Lettres, Département de linguistique, Université de Niamey - NIAMEY
  3. Département des Lettres modernes, Université de Niamey - NIAMEY
  4. Institut de recherche en Sciences humaines (IRSH), Université de Niamey - NIAMEY

INDRAP - Institut National de Documentation, de Recherche et d'Animation Pédagogique (Niger). Mailing address: B.P.. 10184 Niamey Niger

c) Languages in education/literacy / Langues dans l'éducation/l'alphabétisation

French is the language of schooling. A limited number (~40) of bilingual "experimental" primary schools have been set up in which instruction begins in the maternal language and switches to French.

There are literacy programs, both governmental and NGO, in the national languages. These are generally small scale and local in scope.

UNDP (2006) gives a literacy figure (without reference to which language[s]) of: 28.7%

1.3  Writing in national/indigenous languages / Ecriture en langues nationales/indigènes

a) Orthographies / Orthographes

Before colonisation the Arabic script was used to write indigenous languages (as such the writing is known as Ajami), notably Hausa. This continues to some degree. Tifinagh was and is used by Tamajaq speakers.

Since independence the government opted to use the Latin script with additional modified letters (extended characters) for literacy, education and publication in national languages. The most recent standard orthographies were adopted in 1999.

A chart showing the extended Latin characters and diacritics used in some Nigerien languages is available at:

b) Print publications / Editions imprimées

UNESCO (1985) reported the following periodicals (name, frequency of publication, circulation, language). Updated information is needed:

  • Albishirin Ku, monthly, 1,000, Hausa/Tamashek
  • Boro Goyo Gati, monthly, 1,000, Zarma
  • A Burcintarey Ganga, monthly, 3,000, Hausa/Zarma/Kanuri/Fulfulde/Tamashek
  • Jine Koy Yon, monthly, 1,000, Zarma
  • Kasa Mai Albarka, monthly, 1,000, Hausa
  • Mangari Kuye, monthly, 1,000, Kanuri
  • Muryar Damagaram, monthly, 1,000, Hausa
  • Tarmamun Adar, monthly, 1,000, Hausa

1.4  Other comments / Autre commentaire

Deux documents sur "Politiques et stratégies de communication pour le développement" (qui font référence à l'utilisation des langues nationales dans la communcation) publiés par la FAO sont disponibles à ou téléchargables directement à :

2.  ICT situation / Situation des TIC

2.1  Infrastructure / Infrastructure

a) Telephones / Téléphones :

  • Fixed lines: Telephone mainlines: 2 per 1000 people (APC)
  • Mobile subscriptions: 24,000 (0.2 per 100 people) (ITU 2004 cited in Vodafone 2005)

b) Radio stations / Stations de radio :

An extensive program to establish community radio stations ("radios de proximité) was begun early in the decade and has established over a hundred local stations.

Links to audio of major Nigerien radio stations are available at sites)

c) Connectivity / Connectivité :

  • International internet bandwidth / Bande passante internationale d'internet :
  • ISPs / FSI :
  • Geographic coverage / Couverture géographique :

2.2  Computer & internet access / Accès aux ordinateurs et à l'internet

a) Computers & points of access / Ordinateurs et lieux d'accès :

  • Number of computers / Nombre d'ordinateurs: 0.5 per 1000 people (APC)
  • Cybercafés / Cybercafés:
  • Project telecentres / Télécentres de projets:

b) Internet / Internet :

  • Dial-up subscribers / Abonnés par ligne téléphonique :
  • Internet users / Utilisateurs de l'internet : 24,000 Internet users as of Sept/05, 0.2% of the population, per ITU (Internet World Stats)

c) Other / Autre :

  • Digital Opportunity Index (DOI): 0.02 (ITU 2006); 0.03, ranked 181 (ITU 2007)
  • ICT Opportunity Index (ICT-OI?):
  • ICT Development Index (IDI):

2.3  ICT policy / Politique de TIC

Some NICI documents of Niger are available online at (files section of the Internet-Niger list). Direct links for download there and on the UNDP/PNUD site:

  • Programme de mise en oeuvre du PLAN NICI du Niger (2005?)
    • sites)
    • sites)
  • Plan de développeemnt des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication au Niger, ou PLAN NICI du Niger (Nov. 2003)
    • sites)

Some rather dated background information on NICI in Niger can be accessed via the page

Agencies concerned with ICTs in Niger:

  • The "Autorité de régulation multisectorielle" apparently has responsibility for regulating internet use in Niger. sites)
  • Haut Commissariat à l'Informatique et aux Nouvelles Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication HC/NTIC

The APC page, "ICT Policy in Niger" has some information and links:

2.4  ICT4D/E & ICT training / TIC pour le développement/éducation, et formation en TIC

The UNDP is involved in a project called SchoolNet (no apparent relation to SchoolNet Africa?) to deliver computers to schools in Niger:

2.5  Resources / Ressources


  • Institut Africain d'Informatique (IAI), Cameroon (also serves Niger)


Documents on ICT in Niger:

  • Atohoun, Yaovi, Eileen Reynolds, and Karl Stanzick. 2001. "Evaluation des Infrastructures de Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication du Niger." (Presenté à : Initiative de l'Education pour le Développement et de la Démocratie des Etats-Unis Washington, DC). RTI. sites)

3.  Localisation situation / Situation de localisation

3.1  Country web content / Contenu web du pays

3.2  Web content in indigenous languages / Contenu web en langues indigènes

There is a Wikipedia edition in Hausa begun at

(See also specific language pages.)

3.3  Software localisation / Localisation de logiciel

(See also specific language pages.)

3.4  Projects & organisations / Projets et organisations

  • Réseau Nigérien des Associations/ONG de développement pour la Société de l'Information (ReNASI) seeks among other things "contribuer à l'utilisation des langues nationales dans les TIC afin de permettre une forte population d'illettrés à utiliser les TIC dans leur communication traditionnelle et dans l'acquisition de savoir." (Programme de mise en oeuvre du PLAN NICI du Niger)
  • It is not clear if the Ubuntu Team mentioned above is interested in localisation

3.5  Localisation policy / Politique de localisation

4.  References / Références

APC, "ICT Policy in Niger," Africa ICT Policy Monitor, ("Politiques de TIC en/au Niger," Observatoire des politiques des TIC en Afrique, )

Chanard, Christian, et Andrei Popescu-Belis. 2001. "Encodage informatique multilingue: application au contexte du Niger." Cahiers du Rifal 22: 33-45.

Haut Commissariat à l'Informatique et aux Nouvelles Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication (HC/NTIC). 2005?. "Programme de mise en oeuvre du PLAN NICI du Niger." HC/NTIC. sites)

International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 2004. African Telecommunication Indicators 2004. Geneva: ITU.

______. 2006. World Information Society Report 2006. Geneva: ITU.

______. 2007. World Information Society Report 2007. Geneva: ITU.

Internet World Stats: Africa. 2006.

Leclerc, Jacques. L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde, "Niger,"

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Languages of Niger,"

UNDP. 2006. ''Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. Human Development Report 2006.'' New York: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). [Human development index Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older) (HDI) ]

UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Africa. 1985. African Community Languages and Their Use in Literacy and Education: A Regional Survey. Dakar: UNESCO.

Vodafone. 2005. "Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones." The Vodafone Policy Paper Series, Number 3, March 2005.

Wikipedia, "Languages of Niger,"

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