Republic Day of Niger is celebrated every year on December 18. It is a national holiday observed in Niger to commemorate the creation of the Republic, alongside the establishment of the office of the Presidency. Before this, Niger was under French rule. Though December 18 is not the Republic’s official Independence Day, it marks the founding of its national institutions.
History of Republic Day of Niger
Niger was colonized by France, which began its occupation in the 1890s. Though they gained independence in 1960, December 18, 1958, marks the significant day that Niger became a republic. Before this, Niger had become an autonomous, self-governing nation on December 4. This happened as a result of the constitutional changes brought about by the establishment of the Fifth French Republic.
On December 18, Hamani Diori also became president of the provisional government. He was later appointed as president when Niger became fully independent in 1960. However, Republic Day wasn’t declared an official holiday until 2005. Niger’s current leaders are President Mohamed Bazoum and Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou.
Named after the Niger River, which flows through the southwestern region of the country, Niger is located in West Africa. It shares borders with seven countries, namely: Algeria in the northwest; Libya in the northeast; Chad in the east; Nigeria and Benin in the south, and Burkina Faso and Mali in the west.
The country has a population of approximately 23 million people, most of whom live in the south, as the north is almost totally covered by desert, the Nigerian Sahara. The major ethnic groups are the Hausa and the Djerma-Songhai, with Islam being the main religion.
On December 18, various celebrations are held within Niger, ranging from festivals to political speeches to military parades and parties.
Republic Day of Niger timeline
The Republic of Niger is founded.
Niger gains independence from France.
The government declares December 18 a public holiday.
The National Youth Festival is established.
Republic Day of Niger FAQs
What language is spoken in Niger?
Niger has eleven official languages and about twenty indigenous languages. French is the official language used in government administration and Hausa is the most commonly spoken language. The other ten official languages are Arabic, Fulfulde, Gourmanchema, Kanuri, Hausa, Zarma and Songhai, Tebu, Buduma, Tamasheq, and Tassawaq.
What are citizens of Niger called?
Citizens of Niger are called Nigeriens. ‘Nigerien’ is a term used for men while the word ‘nigerienne’ is used for women.
Are Niger and Nigeria the same?
No. Niger is a landlocked country while Nigeria is a coastal country. However, both countries share a border and are located in West Africa.
How to Observe Republic Day of Niger
Join the celebration
December 18 in Niger is characterized by festivals, political addresses, parades, and parties. If you’re a Nigerien, don’t hesitate to join one of the numerous activities and celebrate.
Buy a flag
Buy a Nigerien flag in honor of the special day. If you can’t find one, feel free to post a picture of the flag online.
Use the hashtag
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #december18 or #republicdayofniger on all your social media platforms to let others know what’s going on.
5 Interesting Facts About Niger
It’s a frying pan
Niger is known as the ‘Frying Pan of the World’ because of its hot weather.
It’s home to Nigersaurus
The remains of a dinosaur, dating back 121 million years ago, was discovered in Niger and named Nigersaurus.
It has the highest fertility rate
Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world.
It is mostly desert
Four-fifths of Niger is covered by desert.
It has low obesity
Niger is the second-least obese country in the whole of Africa.
Why Republic Day of Niger is Important
It celebrates freedom and autonomy
Republic Day is vitally important because it commemorates the establishment of a government for the people of Niger. It also celebrates the struggle for freedom and the achievement of autonomy.
It commemorates history
Republic Day is also a history lesson, reminding people of their country’s past, both good and bad. Learning from past mistakes ensures those mistakes aren’t repeated.
It inspires national consciousness
Republic Day is an avenue for people to honor and celebrate their country. It also promotes a spirit of national consciousness and pride within citizens and residents.
Republic Day of Niger dates