Where babies abound

Jul 12, 2021 by

by Louis T March, MercatorNet:

Most of it is desert – the rest plagued with soil erosion, desertification, contaminated water, poaching and habitat destruction.

The literacy rate is 19 percent. It is home to 23 million benighted souls. First-world statisticians have concluded that more than 40 percent of the people are “impoverished.”

The Republic of Niger is a landlocked country situated in the core of what was once French West Africa. The 2020 UN Human Development Index ranked it dead last, 189th out of 189 countries.  The per capita GDP is US$1,213 – 183rd out of 189.

Politics is tribal. Slightly more than half the natives are Hausa, the remainder comprises other tribes, including Zarma/Songhai, Tuareg, Fulani and Kanuri. There are 10 recognized national languages. Fragmented doesn’t begin to describe it.

There have been five constitutions and three military regimes since independence in 1960. The latest coup attempt was in March of this year. Even most readers of MercatorNet have probably never heard of its capital city, Niamey – population 1.3 million.

The government is corrupt, sustained by massive foreign aid. Donations from France, the EU, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and an alphabet soup of UN agencies account for the bulk of the national budget. (US taxpayers pony up 22 percent of the UN’s annual budget.)

Somebody once said that foreign aid is taking money from poor people in rich countries to give to rich people in poor countries. Look no further than Niger as a prime example.

But here’s the big one: Niger has the highest fertility rate on the planet: 6.91 children per female. Some estimates have it at 7.1. The population is all Muslim.  Most are devoutly so and rigorously follow the Koran’s injunction to increase the ummah (community of believers).

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