All these extremely fragile and underdeveloped economies have either recently been through a civil war or are suffering from ongoing sectarian or ethnic conflicts. 

Author: Jonathan Gregson
Project Coordinator: Edith Updike

5. Niger

Current International Dollars:  1,113 | Click To View GDP & Economic Data

With 80% of its land surface covered by the Sahara desert and a rapidly growing population largely dependent upon small scale agriculture, Niger is under threat from desertification and climate change.  The main driver of its economy is the extraction of valuable natural resources - mainly gold and uranium – so the economy is vulnerable to commodity price shocks as well as droughts and floods. There are hopes for increased revenues from oil exploration projects currently underway. The financing of major projects in the extractive industries has led to some concerns over the sustainability of debt, expected to peak in 2018 before some projects are completed. Politically, there are concerns over the army’s recent violent clashes with the armed group Boko Haram, which have led to large displacements of people. In a country where slavery was only outlawed in 2003 and literacy levels are especially low,  disease and mortality rates are exceptionally high. Niger remains one of the world’s least developed nations and has slipped from  sixth place to become the world’s fifth poorest country.
 


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