Niger. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Niger is 24,206,655 people in 2020. President Mamadou Tandja was re-elected in December for a new four-year term, but was forced into a second round of elections, where he received over 65% of the vote. In the parliamentary elections, his party National Movement for the Development Society (MNSD) retained a clear majority in cooperation with other presidential parties. Earlier in the year, local elections were held, where so far the centrally appointed traditional and religious leaders for the first time were subjected to voters’ trials.
N., which has been severely financially depressed since both the price and demand for the country’s only major export uranium have fallen sharply, got two-thirds of its US $ 1.8 billion foreign debt written off by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The assisting countries within the Paris Club then decided to donate all their claims of $ 104 million.
After four months of work, the National Conference decided to form a transitional government with a Prime Minister, Amadou Cheffou, as leader. André Salifou was appointed President of the Supreme Council of the Republic, the legislative body at this stage. Never before had the country’s situation been so critical: the state was cracking down, there were no resources allocated to pay the salaries of public officials, and the students were not receiving their student aid. According to abbreviationfinder, NG stands for Niger in text.
The economic disaster, with subsequent social crisis, was also partly explained by the sharp fall in prices for uranium. In 1989 the price had been 30,000 francs per kilo, while in 1991 it had fallen to 19,000 francs.
In February 1992, the Tuareg guerrillas again seized arms against the government. In December, the new constitution was approved by a referendum with 90% of the vote, but two months later the ruling party was defeated by the opposition in parliamentary elections.
In April 1993, Mahamane Ousmane became Niger’s first president with 55.4% of the vote in the second election. Work on reaching an agreement that could end the Tuareg guerrilla uprising in the northern part of the country continued throughout the year and much of 1994.
The fighting continued. In May 1994, 40 people died from the rebel and government forces. This led to an agreement between the main guerrilla group, “Coordination of the Armed Resistance”, and the government. In June, the government agreed to grant self-government to a part of the country reserved for about 750,000 Tuareger.
During student actions that demanded, among other things, the payment of student support that the students had for good, the government arrested 91 members of the opposition. In September, Prime Minister Mahamadou Issoufou resigned after his political group, the Nigerian Party for Democracy and Socialism, withdrew from the government coalition, which left it without an absolute majority in parliament.
In January 1995, an opposition coalition won the election to the legislative assembly, replacing immediate Prime Minister Boubacar Cissé Amadou with Hama Amadou. This, as its first precaution, announced a program of financial tightening, and obtained an agreement to pay the delayed salaries to public servants.
The tension between the new government and the president grew steadily. In January 1996, a coup d’etat forced Ousmane’s fall, replacing him with a “Council for the Salvation of the Nation” led by Colonel Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, who appointed Boukary Adji as prime minister. In July, Mainassara was elected president with 52% of the vote. The new “strong man” dissolved the Independent National Electoral Commission, which led the main opposition parties to boycott the legislative assembly in November. In December, Boubacar Cissé was appointed new Prime Minister – by virtue of the victory of Mainassara’s supporters.
A French colony since the end of the 19th century and an independent state since 1958, Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world; it is also plagued by endemic ethnic conflicts and by permanent political instability, with a periodic alternation of democratic regimes and military dictatorships. Despite this unfavorable situation, in the 1960s and 1970s the country’s experimental and self-taught cinema was at the forefront of most of those in sub-Saharan Africa. However, its production gradually decreased in quantity and quality over the next two decades. As in other African countries, it was the colonial army that introduced cinema to Niger for propaganda purposes. Followed, by French directors, the ethnographic documentaries La croisière noire by Léon Poirier (1925), on the crossing of the continent by car, the first film known to testify the life of the populations of the Niger, and La grande caravane (1936) by Jean d’Esme, on the journey of a caravan of camel drivers. In this context the work carried out by Jean Rouch, who made many films in Niger and with whom some of the main Nigerian directors of the first, second and third generation, Moustapha Alassane, collaborated in various capacities. Oumarou Ganda, Inoussa Ousseini, Mariama Hima.
Immediately after independence, the cinema in Niger had little state support. The Cinema Service of the Ministry of Information produced exclusively newsreels, while the National Audiovisual Center, set up in 1965 to sensitize the population on this issue, failed in its intentions, and was absorbed by the Radio-Television Office. However, the latter later played a decisive role in financing production, together with other public institutions (the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Institute for Research in Human Sciences).
Alassane was the pioneer of Nigerian cinema. Not only a filmmaker but also an inventor and organizer, he designed and built a film camera and, using a mobile structure, introduced cinema to the villages. In 1961 he made the ethnographic short film Aouré, a love story set in a village and the first completely Nigerian film. He later served as Rouch’s assistant and director of photography in Paris, and studied with Norman McLaren at the Montreal National Film Board. His filmography developed in the name of animation, a genre that had not existed in Africa until then (Le piroguier, 1962, drawn directly on the film; La mort de Gandji, 1965, shot in Canada; Bon voyage, Sim, 1966; Samba le Grand, 1978; Kokoa, 1984), but also of the legend (La bague du roi Koda, 1963; Toula ou le génie des eaux, 1974),
For most of the 1960s, Alassane remained the only director of the N .; but the end of that decade and the beginning of the next saw the debut of several other filmmakers, flanked by the flourishing of interesting cultural and organizational initiatives (such as, for example, the creation of the Cinéma et culture club, tending to dissemination and knowledge of the cinema, and of the Association of Filmmakers of the Niger) so that from that period the isolated activity of Alassane began to be joined by that of other filmmakers. In 1968 he made his debut as an actor in Moi, un noir (1959) and Babatou ou les trois conseils (1976), both directed by Rouch. His first work, Cabascabo (Bullo), of autobiographical inspiration, describes in a visionary way the vicissitudes of a veteran from the Indochina war. The abuses perpetrated by power, in particular from the religious one, they are at the center of several of his films, from Le Wazzou polygame (1971) to Saïtane (1973, Satana), up to L’exilé (1980), his latest film. Of Moustapha Diop we must remember Synapse (1972), focused on a group of young Africans in Paris, Le médecin de Gafiré (1982), on the clash between the methods of traditional medicine and those used by a young man who studied abroad, and Mamy Wata (1990, Goddess of the waters), her latest film, a story of corruption and supernatural rituals that sees the contamination of various genres, from the western to the erotic. Djingarey Abdoulaye Maïga, initially an actor, is one of the filmmakers with the most continuous and regular career; his films are melodramas with a dark and sometimes rough social background, with emblematic titles: L’étoile noire (1975), Nuages noirs (1979), Aube noire (1983). Among the promising young directors, whose production stopped after a few years, however, are to be remembered: Yaya Kossoko (La réussite de Mei Thebre, 1969, about a young farmer who discovers city life and forgets his origins), Ousseini (La sangsue, 1972; Paris, c’est joli, 1974, on Nigerian emigration to France; Ganga, 1975, shot in Niger and directed with Rouch), Abdourhamane Gatta (Gossi, 1978, documentary on ancestral rites; Hommage à Oumarou Ganda, 1981, dedicated to the famous director, who passed away that year). In 1982 the first international seminar on film production in Africa was organized in Niamey, known as the ‘Niamey Manifesto’. The 1980s and early 1990s, although marked by numerous retirements, saw some debuts: Mahamane Bakabe and Abdoua Kanta, that after a few short films, first documentaries and then with a subject, made their debut in the feature film respectively with Si les cavaliers… (1981), on an episode of the struggle against the white colonizers in 1905, and with Lelée (1990), on the difficult life of a village girl; M. Hima, ethnomusicologist, and in this capacity collaborator of Rouch in the seventies, who was noted for some environmental documentaries on the recycling of objects, Baabu banza (1984, Niente si getta), Taya (1984, The tire), Falaw (1985, L’alluminio), Toukou (The barrel) and Katako (The table), both from 1987.
During the nineties there has been the substantial disappearance of the production of feature films. The only exceptions are Maïga, who returned to feature films with Miroir noir (1995) and Vendredi noir (1999), and two debutants, Moussa Alzouma and Oumarou Koulibaly, respectively with the medium-length films Talfi (1995, Affidata) and Wadjibi (1996, also known as Le devir).