Niger is a republic. According to the Constitution of 1996, amended by referendum in 1999, executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic, elected by direct suffrage. with a 5-year mandate, like the National Assembly which has legislative power. The judicial system in 1999 saw the suspension of the Supreme Court, the highest level of judgment in the country, whose functions were divided between the High Court of the State, which is responsible for judging public officials, and the Court for State Security, which also acts as a court martial. At the lower level we find the Courts of Assizes and Appeals, and the Courts of First Instance. The figure of the justice of the peace is important, but he has limited powers. The death penalty is in force, but executions have not taken place since 1976. The defense of the country is entrusted to the army and air force, alongside which the police and the republican guard, two paramilitary organizations, work. Military service is carried out on a selective basis and lasts for 2 years. Although education is compulsory and free from 7 to 15 years old, the illiteracy rate is among the highest in the world, amounting to 71.3% in 2006. The diffusion of education encounters difficulties especially as the population is spread over a vast territory. Primary school lasts 6 years, starting from 7 years of age. At the age of 13, secondary school begins, which is divided into two cycles: the first of 4 years, includes the last two years of compulsory education, and the second of 3 years of address, especially professional or technical. According to andyeducation, there are two universities in the country, one in Niamey, founded in 1973, the other in Say, founded in 1987. and the second of 3 years of specialization, especially professional or technical. There are two universities in the country, one in Niamey, founded in 1973, the other in Say, founded in 1987. and the second of 3 years of specialization, especially professional or technical. There are two universities in the country, one in Niamey, founded in 1973, the other in Say, founded in 1987.
TERRITORY: HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
Like plant life, anthropogenic life also depends essentially on environmental conditions. The population is sparse in the Saharan belt and is concentrated for 70-80% in the extreme southern area, ie along the Zinder-Maradi-Niamey axis; a relative densification also occurs along the banks of the Niger. Although united by the common Islamic religion, the population of Niger – a meeting point of black and white races – is divided into numerous ethnic groups, a division aggravated by a certain antagonism between nomads and sedentaries, between shepherds and farmers. The largest group is that of the Hausa (or Haussa, 55.3%), Sudanese population, i.e. black, who also lives in Nigeria. The Hausa are based in the southern belt between Zinder and Maradi and practice agriculture (including plantations; they are responsible for the rich production of peanuts) and trade. Along the Niger are the djerma- Songhai (21%), belonging to ethno-linguistic group of Mandingo, Sudanese themselves and form one of the most representative groups of the country, the heirs of the great empire of the same name bloomed the bend of the Niger, farmers and breeders. Songhai are related to Tuareg. Among the populations practicing Sudanese agriculture there are also the manga kanuri (4.7%). Among the breeding peoples, the most numerous is that of the Fulbe (or fulani, 8.5%); most of the Fulbe (such as the Bororo) live in the Sahel making seasonal migrations with their herds, revolving around the important market of Tahoua, but smaller groups are now sedentary farmers in the South. The Tuaregh live in the Saharan region (9.3%), nomadic herders par excellence, and the bellahs, their ancient servants (haratin) of black origin. At the end of the century. XX, due to the terrible drought, many Tuareg have abandoned their oases and moved towards S; their integration is difficult, however, also because the sedentary people of the South have the leadership of the country in their hands. Arabs (0.4%), toubou (0.4%), gourmantché (0.3%) and other minorities (0.1%) also live in the area. The population has registered a significant increase in recent decades; in 1926 there were 1.2 million people in the country, which became 2.5 million at the 1959-60 census and over 10 million in 2000. Except for the fulbe breeders, who live in huts and constantly move around, and the Tuareg who, however, belong to the oases, the population lives essentially in villages. The population density is rather low (11 residents / km²; cities host only one sixth of the total (in 2007 it was 18%) and, with the exception of Niamey, they are modest in size; they perform market functions, as well as administrative ones. The major centers are Zinder, an ancient Hausa sultanal seat and today the center of attraction of a vast agricultural area, Maradi and Tahoua, all in southern Niger, while in the Aïr region is Agadèz, an important station on the Trans-Saharan and operational base for uranium research in the area. Niamey was valued by the French as a capital already in colonial times, favored by its position on Niger. It is a lively commercial center and a communications hub at the intersection between the river axis and the road that leads from Mali to Benin, crossing the Sudanese belt.
With the change in rainfall, the plant environment also changes, forming successive bands: from the sparse wooded savannahs in the S, one progressively passes to the steppe in the center and to the desert in N. In the Saharan region the vegetation almost completely disappears: it only reappears in the oases, where all the vegetal aspects linked to human activity are found, typical of desert areas (date palms, horticultural crops, etc.). The fauna reflects the plant environment and in the desert the most common animal is certainly the camel, but it is also possible to come across gazelles and fennecs. If in the rest of the country the fauna is scarce (only a few hippopotamus and a few giraffes), moving towards the W National Park, declared a World Heritage Site UNESCO in 1996, the show changes and nature shows itself in all its best aspects: in fact, animals of all kinds live here, elephants, antelopes, lions, leopards, cheetahs and countless varieties of birds. The main environmental problem of Niger is the progressive increase in desertification, mainly caused by deforestation and the intensive use of grazing lands. Poaching and the destruction of the natural habitat are the main causes of the decimation of specimens of some species of animals such as elephants, giraffes and hippos. 6.6% of the territory is protected in the form of national parks and reserves, including the Aïr-Ténéré Nature Reserve declared a World Heritage Site in 1991 and already the following year entered the list of endangered sites.