The tertiary sector contributes the second largest share to the gross domestic product (GDP) with 39%. Trade and (arts) crafts are predominant (13% of GDP), but also transport and communication. Tourism and the hospitality industry suffer from the uncertain situation in the region.
Depending on the time of year, the market is a colorful and diverse place to trade and exchange goods from the small fields and parcels, but large quantities of grain, fruit and vegetables are also sold here, both in the small village markets and in the urban market halls. You can find (almost) everything on the market: canaries, calabashes and other handicraft products, but also traditional medicines, clothing, technical devices, animals and much more.
The handicraft sector ranges from clay, forging, braiding and leather work to stone working and weaving. Crafts and handicrafts are common in all regions and among all ethnic groups, but specific activities are reserved for separate professional groups or castes. Metal and leather work is carried out by the Tuareg blacksmiths’ caste, for the production of pottery, especially the large canaries for storing and cooling water, there are villages with well-known potters in the southwest of the country. Recycling aluminum and pouring large saucepans can be seen in the Katako market in Niamey, for example.
Services / informal sector
In the area of the informal sector, the Nigerians have a variety of ideas to earn an income. Be it activities as a park ranger, window cleaner, cell phone card seller, shoe shine and much more. Particularly noteworthy is the dexterity with which some women braid artistic hairstyles – with and without the aid of additional artificial hair. The work of night watchman is popular with the nomads who have moved to the city. Many men and women work as domestic servants and guards in the cities. Many children work in this sector – be it that they have to make a living or sometimes even support the whole family through their earnings. Domestic workers, not infrequently also children,
According to mathgeneral, the labor market situation in Niger can hardly be represented correctly with figures.
Tourism and hospitality
In the service sector, tourism is of great importance in economic and external terms. However, this is heavily dependent on a stable domestic and foreign policy situation. Under safety-relatedIn more favorable conditions, hospitality and tourism accounted for 2% of GDP, but the northern regions, Agadez, Air Mountains and the deserts. which are the main regions of tourism are not safe. Even the attractive ‘Parque W’ nature park cannot compensate for this. The reopening of the airport in Agadez in 2004 made it considerably easier to reach the northern regions, but after the Tuareg surveys since 2007 the airport was closed again. The hostage-taking in Niger and the armed conflict in northern Mali have made the situation even worse. The colorful Woodaabe or Tuareg festivals in the pastoral zone have become tourist destinations in recent years. About the justifiability of ethnotourism there is no unanimous opinion: is it ‘sellout’ and exoticism or a way to ensure better human survival?
With the initiation of the construction of a railway line from Cotonou – Niamey – Ouagadougou – Adidjan, Niger is taking a further step in the regional integration of its transport infrastructure. At the end of President Issoufou’s third year in office, the first Niger station was opened on April 7, 2014 in Niamey. An 80 year old dream of Niger will come true in the next few years with the completion of the almost 600 km long railway line from Parakou (Benin) to Niamey.
The ‘Trans-Saharan Route’ is one of nine United Nations trans-African road projects. The road is to lead from Lagos via Kano – Zinder – Agadez – Assamaka – Tamanghassat to Algiers. In November 2014, the Agadez – Assamaka section officially began in Niger. This 223 km long section will cover a quarter of the Nigerien route, which is being built with significant support from China.
SONITEL (Société Nigérienne des Télécommunications), the Nigerien telephone company was privatized in 2001 and nationalized again in 2009. Most large towns and cities have private cell phone service providers. The oldest providers are Celtel, a Kuwaiti provider (with Zain since 2008 and switched to Airtel in 2010) and Sahelcom; Orange Niger and Moov Niger have been added.