India-Niger Bilateral Relations India-Niger Bilateral Relations

India-Niger Bilateral Relations

Embassy of India

Niamey

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India-Niger Bilateral brief

          India and Niger have maintained cordial relations.  India established its Embassy in Niamey in May 2009.  Niger followed by opening its Embassy in New Delhi in November 2011.

Visits

  1. The major visits  from  Niger  to  India  in recent years are as under:-
  • The Minister of Mines  & Energy visited India in June in 2011 for bilateral discussions on civil nuclear cooperation between India and Niger with the Department of Atomic Energy, Mumbai.
  • President Issoufou Mahamadou  visited India  from  27-30 October, 2015 with a high-powered delegation comprising  six Ministers, including  Minister of  Foreign Affairs, to participate in 3rd India-Africa  Forum Summit (IAFS-III)  held in New Delhi.
  • Saidil Mohamed Moctar, Minister and Special Advisor to the President of Niger visited India in December, 2016 and interacted, among others, with MoS (VKS), MoS (MJA) and MoS in Ministry of Finance.
  • Seydou Sadou, Minister of Trade and Private Sector Promotion and Mr. Saidil Mohamed Moctar visited India in March, 2017 for attending the 12th CII Exim Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership.
  • President Issoufou Mahamadou participated in the Founding Conference of International Solar Alliance in New Delhi in March 2018.
  • Saidil Mohamed Moctar, Minister and Special Advisor to the President of Niger visited India in September, 2018 in connection with signing of the MoU for establishment of Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC) in Niamey.
  • A 12-Member Nigerien defence delegation visited Pune to participate in the India-Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX) organized by the Indian Army from 18-27 March, 2019.
  • Amina Moumouni, Minister of Energy, visited India from 30 July-3 August to attend the First Meeting of the Permanent Committee of the International Solar Alliance.
  • A 33-Member Nigerien delegation led by Almoustapha Garba, Minister of Environment, Urban Sanitation and Sustainable Development participated in the 14th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) of the UN Convention  to Combat  Desertification (UNCCD) in New Delhi from 2 to 13 September, 2019.
  • Alkache Alhada, Minister of Commerce and Mrs. Gourouza Magagi Salamatou, Minister of Industry & Youth entrepreneurship visited New Delhi to attend the 17th CII- Exim Bank Conclave on India Africa Growth partnership held on 19-20 July, 2022.
  1. Visits from India to  Niger  at the level of HOS/HOG are yet to take place.  The major visits  from  India to Niger in recent years  are as under:-
  • G.M. Siddeshwara, Minister of State for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, visited  Niger  from  8-10 July,  2015 as the Special Envoy of  PM  to deliver the letters of invitations to the President of Niger and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for  IAFS-III  to be held in New Delhi from 26-30 October, 2015.
  • Shri Amarendra Khatua, Dean (FSI) and Special Envoy of GOI, visited Niamey from August 31 to September 2, 2016 and interacted with Nigerien leadership including President Issoufou Mahamadou, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigerien Citizens Abroad, as well as Minister of Planning.
  • S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister (EAM), accompanied by Shri R. Ravindra, Joint Secretary (C&WA), and Dr. Shilpak Ambule, Joint Secretary (EAMO), visited Niamey from 20-21 January, 2020 for the inauguration of Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC). He called on President Issoufou Mahamadou and Prime Minister Brigi Rafini, Foreign Minister Kalla Ankourao during the visit. Two Agreements viz. (i) Protocol on Consultations; and (ii) Establishment of Joint Commission were signed. On 21 January, MGICC was jointly inaugurated by the EAM and the President of Niger.

Bilateral Agreements

  1. Following MoUs have been signed between India-Niger during the visit of EAM to Niger in January 2020:
  • Agreement for Protocol on Consultations; and
  • Agreement for Establishment of Joint Commission
  1. Three other MoUs (i) for Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture and Allied Sector and Fisheries (finalised by both sides, awaiting approval from Ministry of Agriculture & FW, GoI); (ii) e-Vidya Bharti and Aarogya Bharti (finalised by both sides, to be signed); and (iii) for setting up a Centre for Geo Informatics Application for Rural Development (CGARD) in Niamey (pending) are under consideration.

Development  Assistance

  1. India has extended lines of credit (LOCs) worth US$ 96.54 million for projects which are all now completed. These are:
  • US$ 17 million in 2006 for procurement of buses, trucks, tractors, flour mills, motor pumps, etc.;
  • US$ 20 million in 2008 for (a) rehabilitation of 6 power stations; (b) purchase of 3 power transformers; (c) rehabilitation and erection of transmission lines;
  • US$ 34.54 million in 2013 for solar electrification of 90 villages (50+40) and 7MWp Solar photovoltaic power station at Malbaza.
  • US$ 25 million in 2014 for supply of Potable Water for Semi-Urban and Rural Communities through 500 borewells.
  1. In addition, projects totalling US$ 131.50 million have been approved for Niger from the LoCs extended to ECOWAS Bank for Investment & Development (EBID) in 2015. These are as follows:
  • US$ 10 million for electrification of 50 villages through Solar Photovoltaic Systems in the regions of Dosso, Tillabery and Tahoua;
  • US$ 39.70 million for Solar electrification of 250 rural communities;
  • US$ 56.70 million for upgrading and extension of Potable Water Supply Networks in cities of Maradi, Dosso and Diffa;
  • US$ 10.50 million for Electrification of resettlement sites under the Resettlement Action Plan of the Kandadji Dam and upgrading of the Power Distribution Network Project in the dam area;
  • US$ 14.60 million for Agriculture & Irrigation Project for the Resettlement Sites of the Kandadji Dam’s Resettlement (Phase 2) plan (Assigned but formal approval awaited)
  1. A grant of US$ 35.484 million was extended for construction of Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC) in September 2018. The centre was inaugurated by EAM in January 2020. In June 2019, GoI extended a grant assistance of US$ 15 million to the Government of Niger for defraying part of the expenses towards hosting of the AU Summit in July 2019 in Niamey. 

Humanitarian Assistance / Donation

  1. 9. India provided  a  relief package  of  basic  medicines  to Niger in September 2005  during  the  period  of  food  crisis  in Niger.   An assistance of US $ 100,000/- was given to Niger in August 2010 to help it tide over the food crisis.  A cash grant of Euro 86,452/- was  provided to help the Government of Niger towards purchase of two television cameras for the National Television of Niger for use at the investiture ceremony of the newly elected President  of Niger on April 7, 2011.   100 computers and 100 printers worth Rs. 67 lakh were provided to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Niger in 2012.  On 30 September 2015, ten laptops were donated by the Mission to Radio Broadcasting and TV of Niger. Essential medicines worth US$ 40000/- to support the management of COVID-19 pandemic in Niger were donated on 28 May 2020 and 24 August 2020. 25000 doses of Covishield vaccines were supplied to Niger as grant in March 2021. India has provided grant support for participation of Nigerien artists and artisans in the Surajkund International Crafts Mela in 2019, 2020 and 2022.

Capacity Building

  1. Niger has been making good utilization of the 160 ITEC slots and 5 ICCR slots earmarked for the country [ITEC slots utilized: 154 in 2017-18, 143 in 2018-19 and 48 in 2019-20 (courses curtailed due to Covid)]. ITEC courses in the physical mode remained suspended in 2020-21 and 2021-22. For 2022-23,156 ITEC slots have been allocated to Niger.  Three ITEC defence slots( army) , were utilised in 2019-20., followed by 2 in 2021-21 and 7 (5 Army + 2 Air Force) in 2021-22.  5 ICCR scholarships were utilised by Niger in 2019-20, 3 in 2020-21 and four in 2021-22. 5 ICCR scholarships have been made available for Nigerien students in 2022-23.  Nine Nigerien diplomats have undergone training in regular courses at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) from 1995 to 2021.  

Trade

  1. 11. India has extended Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme to Niger with  effect  from 27 July 2017.  Exporters from Niger have made good use of this concession as evident from the exports to India in 2020-21 & 2021-22.
  1. Bilateral trade between India and Niger in the last five years (in US$ Million) is as follows: (Source: Deptt. Of Commerce, GoI)

 

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

India’s Exports to Niger

120.21

94.84

73.60

87.03

91.62

India’s imports from Niger

20.24

0.65

0.90

4.12

15.99

Total trade

140.46

95.48

74.50

91.15

107.61

Percentage growth

 

-32.02

-21.98

+22.35

+18.06

The main items exported from India to Niger include Rice, Cotton, Pharmaceutical products, Engineering goods, electrical appliances,  cotton fabrics, garments, processed cereals/food items, Sugar, Sugar confectionary, Construction material, artificial jewellery etc.  The main items being exported from Niger to India are Gum Arabic, Resins and other Vegetable saps and extracts, semi-precious stones, Oil seeds (Sesame), misc. Grains, goat skins. etc. The trade figures do not truly reflect the quantum of trade as a large number of Niger businessmen procure Indian goods and products from Dubai and through the Ports in neighbouring countries of Benin, Togo and Nigeria.  The data of exports from India coming through these points into Niger is not captured by Deptt. of Commerce.  The actual volume of export of Indian products to Niger is expected to be significantly higher than the DoC figures going by the presence of Indian goods in the markets of Niger. The presence of Indian companies executing LOC, grant and multilateral funded projects in Niger would provide impetus to increasing bilateral trade further.

ISA / UN / Other International Organizations

 

  1. Niger ratified the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement in August 2017. 
  1. In 2016, Niger had conveyed its unilateral support to candidature of India for the Non-Permanent seat of the United National Security Council for the term 2021-2022. On request from Niger, India had committed support to Niger for their candidature to the Non-Permanent Seat of the UNSC for the 2020-21 term. Niger’s position on UN reforms is that of African Union’s common position.  India and Niger have worked together as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council in 2021 when their terms overlapped. 
  1. Niger has been supportive of India’s candidature for various posts in the international fora. In the recent past (2021 & 2022), Niger has supported Indian candidatures for the posts of (a) the Executive Committee of INTERPOL; (b) the Postal Operations Council (POC) and Council of Administration (CA) of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in Abidjan; (c) the Membership of UNESCO’s Executive Board and World Heritage Committee in 2021 and  Intergovernmental Committee for safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind (ICH) in 2022 (d) for the External Auditor to IAEA in Vienna; (e) for International Law Commission; and (f) membership of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

Indian Investments in Niger

  1. The few Indian companies having investments in Niger are:

S.No.

Indian Company

Activity

Amount  invested

1.

M/s Airtel Cellular Services

(leading mobile tele & internet service provider with over 60% market share)

Cell phone & internet services

US$ 350 mn

2.

M/s Euroworld International

 (part of Satguru Group )

Construction Bravia Hotel

US$ 64 mn

3.

Jai Mata di Trading

(part of Satguru Group)

Wholesale Commodities & FMCG Trade

US$ 10 million

3.

M/s Satguru Travels

Travel & hospitality, retail

US$ 3 million

4.

M/s Shivam General Trading Company

(part of Satguru Group )

Electronics & consumer durables

US$ 1 million

5.

M/s Qualis Beverages Sarl

(formerly Belvie Healthcare SA )

Mineral water, beverages

U$$ 3 million

6.

M/s Afriplast Niger

PVC  multi usage pipes

US$ 0.7 million

7.

M/s Marco Décor

(part of Satguru Group )

 

Furniture & household items

 US$ 1 million

  1. The following Indian companies have won contracts in 2021 & 2022 for executing projects funded by multilateral agencies in Niger:
  • M/s Energy Infratech Pvt. Ltd. – Project Management Consultancy of the construction of Kandadji Hydroelectric Dam and Irrigation project – Contract value US$ 9 million;
  • M/s Transrail Lighting Ltd. - Construction of 330 kV D/C Twin ACSR/AW Electric Power Transmission Lines (315 Kms) for the North Backbone West African Power Pool(WAPP) Project in Nigeria, Niger, Benin, & Burkina Faso – Value US$ 67.35 million
  • M/s Tata Projects Ltd. - 330 kV Transmission Line, Gorou Banda in Niamey to Burkina Faso frontier (99 km) for the WAPP project - US$ 23 million
  • M/s Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd. – Construction of 330 kV 190 Km Transmission Line from Kandadji Hydro electric power project site to Gourou Banda in Niamey – US$ 30 million approx.

Indian Community

  1. There are about 200 Indian nationals in Niger, majority of them reside in Niamey. They are largely engaged in trading, hospitality businesses or in self-employments. There are no Persons of Indian Overseas (PIO) or Indian students in Niger.

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24 July 2022