Niger - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Niger, a landlocked country in Western Africa bordered by Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria, Libya, and Chad has a total land area of 489,678 square miles and a population of around 15.3 million. Niger, a developing country with very low Human Development index, is very much at the mercy of nature for growth. Much of its non-desert portions are threatened by periodic long drawn out drought spells and desertification. The terrain is mostly desert with some fertile arable land to the south. Agriculture and uranium export are the significant contributors to the economy. On a promising note, substantial exploitable deposits of gold, oil, phosphate, coal, iron, limestone, etc., have been found in Niger. In its effort to uplift the country from poverty and poor education, health care, and infrastructure the government is implementing IMF promoted privatization model.



Travel Resources: 



ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Niger: The Bradt Travel Guide978-1841621524$18Best Travel Guide for Niger. Includes full range of accommodation and travel options, culture and religion, and wildlife and ecosystems.
Niger Travel Map978-1553413493$111:2M Scale. City map of Niamey included.
Niger Grounded Adapter Plug – GUBB001FDC7V6$8

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Niger were a long set of twenty one stamps released between 1921 and 1926 that were ‘Territoire Du Niger’ overprints on stamps of Upper Senegal and Niger of 1914. The set (Scott #1 to #21) catalogs for around $14 mint or used. A set of six stamps that were surcharge overprints on the first set followed between 1922 and 1926. That set (Scott #22 to #28) catalogs for around $6 mint or used. The first original issues were a long set of forty four stamps released between 1926 and 1940 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #29 to #72) catalogs for around $30 mint or used. The designs show drawing water from well, Zinder Fortress, and boat on Niger River. Between 1941 and 1959 when the Republic of Niger was established, stamps of French West Africa were used. Niger became a French colony in 1922. It became an autonomous state within the French Community on December 4, 1958 and gained full independence on August 3, 1960.

Niger released a set of twelve stamps featuring fauna between 1959 and 1960 as the first stamps of the Republic. The set (Scott #91 to #102) catalogs for around $7 MNH and around $4 used. The designs show crested cranes, saddle-billed storks, Barbary sheep, giraffes, ostriches, and lion. This issue was followed in 1960 with a 200fr surcharge overprint on the 100fr from the previous set and the inscription ‘Independence 3-8-60’. The stamp (Scott #103) is sought after and catalogs for around $5 MNH or used. It was issued to mark Niger’s Independence.

Other issues of Niger enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of three stamps released on October 21, 1975 in the Fight against Drought theme. The set (Scott #336 to #338) catalogs for around $2 MNH and around a dollar for used. The designs show Allegories of starving family, animal skeletons, and truck bringing food. The country has a chronic drought problem. There was a very severe drought in the late 1960s that lasted with one break into the 1980s. More recently, another drought that resulted in the 2005-06 Niger food crisis endangered the lives of around a million people.
  2. A set of four stamps released on June 15, 1985 in the World Wildlife Fund theme. The set (Scott #688 to #691) catalogs for around $18 MNH and around two dollars for used. The designs show addax and oryx.
  3. A set of four stamps released on July 10, 1991 in the African Tourism Year theme. The set (Scott #836 to #839) catalogs for around $4 MNH and around two dollars for used. The designs show Timia Falls, Map of Africa with the 1991 inscription on a pictorial, Boubon Market, and Ruins of Assode. 
Numismatic Profile:

The first coin of Niger was a Republic Decimal Coinage 10 Francs Commemorative Gold Proof with low mintage (1000) issued in 1960 to mark Independence. Remarkably, the issue fetches only a slight premium over bullion value. Since then, Niger has issued a number of gold and silver proofs with low mintage over the years.


Collectible Memorabilia:


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Antiques$15 and upTuareg Silver Ismana Beads, Neolithic Arrowhead Stones, etc start around $15. Authentic Tuareg silver necklaces, rings, etc start around $50. 18th century maps, Tuareg African Leather Purses etc start around $100. Niger Bura Heads and statues start well into the 100s.
Art$10 and up19th century local scenes and personnel photo prints start around $10. Tuareg Folk Art Oil Paintings start around $100.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$3 and upPatches, flags, stickers etc start around $3. Painted Clay Bead Niger Necklaces start around $15. Neolithic Quartzite Spears, Handstone axes etc start around $50. Tuareg Leather Camel Bags, Woven Straw Leather Decorations, Milk Vessels etc go into the 100s.


Last Updated: 12/2015.

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