Sunday, March 22, 2009

Niger, Pre-independence Period

Songhai Epmire at its top position, c 1500

It was as back as 600,000 BC when people began to stay in the areas of north of Niger because at that time the land was fertile for cultivation and abundant wild life , domesticated animals, chariots used to live.

At About 1400s Songhai Empire expanded into what was modern Niger. Different types of kingdoms existed at different times before it was explored by the western countries in the 19th. century. The first European explorers-notably Mungo Park (British) and Heirich Barth (German) -explored the area in search of the source of the river Niger.But ultimately French occupied the territories for their colony and administered it from 1922. Like other French West African Colony they posted a governor general in Niger as they had done in Dakar, Senegal etc.

The colonies governed by the French had got its own method of doing things unlike that of the others. In addition to conferring French citizenship to the inhabitants of the territories, the 1946 French constitution provided for ecentralisation of power and limited participation in political life for local advisory assemblies.

A further revision in the organisation of overseasterritories occurred with the passage of the Overseas Reform Act (Loi Cadre)of July 23,1956,followed by reorganisationmeasures enacted by the French Parliamentearly in 1957. In addition to removing voting enequalities, these laws providedfor creation of Governmental organs assuring individual territories a large measure of of self-government.

After the establishment of the Fifth French Republic on Dec.4, 1958, Niger became an autonomous state within the French Community. \Following full independence on Aug. 3, 1960, however,membership was allowed to lapse.
Ruins of the trade oasis of Djado in north-east niger