Canada and Niger established diplomatic relations in 1962. Although Canada has not had a resident ambassador in Niger, the Canadian Embassy in Bamako, Mali, has ensured representation of Canada in Niger since 2011. Prior to this time, Canada’s interests were represented in Niger by our embassies in Lagos, Nigeria (1962-1970) and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (1970-2011). From 1972 to 2012, an Office of the Canadian Embassy was located in Niamey, which reported to our embassy accredited to Niger. Niger had been represented in Canada through its Embassy in Ottawa from 1978 until the end of 2013.
Canada and Niger enjoy good but limited bilateral relations. Interaction between Canada and Niger is largely carried out in multilateral institutions, such as the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and the United Nations (UN).
Trade between Canada and Niger is modest but expanding. In 2013, two-way merchandise trade almost reached $5.8 million. Canadian exports to Niger totaled $4.6 million, including machines, vehicles and textiles. Importations from Niger to Canada totaled $1.1 million, including machines, rubber, electric machines, plastic, and iron products. Canada is an important actor in the mining sector.
Until the end of its bilateral program in March 2013, Canada had supported projects aimed at increasing food security, improving education and promoting equality between men and women. Canada closed its Support Unit Office in Niamey in September 2012. However, Canada maintains its engagement in Niger through various multilateral and international programs, as well as through Partnership Canada. Canada’s contribution to Niger for 2011-2012 reached $34 million. In 2011-2012, in order to address the food and humanitarian crisis in the Sahel region, Canada disbursed $41 million for multilateral projects in the region. Of that amount, $15.5 million went to Niger.
Then Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon met with then Nigerien Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration, Aïchatou Mindaoudou at the 14th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2010. Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with the transitional Prime Minister, Mahamadou Danda, on the margins of the Francophonie Summit in Montreux in October, 2010.
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