Switzerland supports development efforts in Niger by investing in rural development, education, vocational skills development and local governance. These actions are aimed at improving the living conditions of local communities, encouraging them to play a part in their own development.

Map of Niger

Niger faces food insecurity on a regular basis due to economic and structural problems. Since the 1970s the country has experienced seven major food crises. Approximately 80% of the population live in rural areas with more than 45% living below the poverty line. In line with Niger’s development strategies, the SDC is active in three main fields:

  • Rural development
  • Education and vocational skills development
  • Local governance, decentralisation and citizen participation

SDC operations are focused primarily on Dosso and Maradi in southern Niger, but they also extend into Zinder and Diffa.

Rural development and food security

Empowering producers

Food security is a major challenge in Niger, requiring a collective, concerted response. The SDC works with farmers and stockbreeders to improve production methods, for example, by constructing water infrastructure, establishing grazing corridors and supplying seed and fertiliser. It also helps farmers to market their products. With the backing of farmers' organisations, producers are involved in developing and implementing rules governing farming and grazing rights, which provide greater land tenure security and fairer access to resources. Producers’ associations also conduct capacity building, helping their members defend their interests and promoting conditions conducive to rural development and food security. The SDC also supports the national system of prevention and management of disasters and food crises.

Agriculture and food security

Basic education and vocational skills development

Creating opportunities for the future

Although access to education in Niger is improving, the quality of education is often poor. In bolstering the education system, the SDC promotes effective schools. Curricula include local knowledge and national languages, helping young people build the skills they need to become responsible citizens.

Training young people for skilled employment

Vocational skills development is key to the development of rural economies, providing employment prospects for young people and marginalised groups. In this context, the SDC supports initial teacher training and continuing professional development for teachers.

Basic education and vocational training

Local governance and citizen participation

Creating local development hubs

Despite the succession of coups and rebellions since the 1990s, democracy is gaining ground.  The SDC supports decentralisation and local governance. It assists regions and municipalities in improving basic services and promoting local governance that brings together public and private sector stakeholders.

Greater citizen participation

The SDC assists in strengthening the electoral system, independent media and citizen participation, including the participation of women and young people in the governance of the country. 

State and Economic Reforms

Humanitarian aid

Conflict and food crises

Swiss Humanitarian Aid helps multilateral partners, including the ICRC, World Food Programme and NGOs, provide assistance to victims of conflict, such as groups affected by Boko Haram, and communities facing food crises.  

History of cooperation

Working towards development by local people

The SDC opened an office in Niamey in 1977 and signed a cooperation agreement the following year. In line with government priorities, cooperation focused from the outset on securing drinking water supplies, training and research, rural development and combating desertification. Communities have, over time, become agents of their own development, reaching a consensus about their needs and the best way of responding to them. The SDC provides support in the form of funding and technical expertise.

Current projects

Object 13 – 16 of 16

Programme d’Appui à la Qualité de l’Education Formelle (PAQUE)Phase II

01.12.2014 - 31.12.2019

L’éducation au Niger est dans un état déplorable : étudiants en décrochage ou sortant de l’école sans les acquis de base, enseignants non formés et rencontrant les mêmes difficultés que leurs élèves, encadrement pédagogique inexistant, etc. La seconde phase du Programme d’Appui à la Qualité de l’Education Formelle permettra de réformer le système éducatif en soutenant la mise en place de dispositifs efficaces pour la formation et l’encadrement des enseignants.

Programme d’Appui aux Collectivités Territoriales (PACT)

01.06.2014 - 31.12.2020

Les élections municipales de juillet 2004 ont scellé l'irréversibilité du processus de décentralisation au Niger. Malgré cette décision souveraine, les transferts de compétences et de ressources aux Collectivités Territoriales restent modestes, sans grands effets sur l'évolution de la gouvernance locale. Pour dynamiser cette réforme prioritaire, le PACT entend contribuer au développement d’une gouvernance locale fondée sur la participation citoyenne, l'accès équitable des populations aux services publics locaux et à la redistribution inclusive des richesses.

Programme d’Appui à la Petite Irrigation (PAPI)

01.04.2014 - 31.12.2019

Au Niger, la sécurité alimentaire des populations  est dépendante des performances des exploitations familiales agropastorales. Cependant, même lors des années de bonne récolte, les paysans ne parviennent plus à assurer la sécurité alimentaire de leurs propres familles. En cas d’accès facile à l’eau, la culture maraîchère irriguée représente une opportunité à la diversification des activités, la sécurisation des revenus des ménages et à la modernisation des agricultures familiales.

Programme d’éducation alternative des jeunes (PEAJ) - Phase I

01.09.2012 - 31.12.2019

Au Niger, plus de 2 millions d’enfants et de jeunes, déscolarisés ou non scolarisés, soit deux tiers de la population de 9 à14 ans, n’accèdent pas à l’éducation. Ce programme mettra en place 200 centres d’éducation alternative au bénéfice de 12’000 jeunes dans les régions de Dosso et Maradi afin de produire des résultats pouvant constituer un effet levier sur l’ensemble du pays. Les jeunes issus de ces centres pourront intégrer le cursus scolaire, la vie active ou une formation professionnelle.

Object 13 – 16 of 16