Definition of Youth

According to Niger’s 2013 Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, youth is defined as between the ages of 15 and 35, in line with the African Youth Charter.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 0
  • --
  • Female
  • 15
  • 0
  • --

  • Minimum age only applies to civil marriages, as “traditional law” allows marriage below these ages. UNFPA (2012) states 28% of all girls are married before age 15. No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts are legal. Source: Callimachi (2012), UNFPA (2012), UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Penal Code of Niger

Majority Age



Voting Age


Individuals under 18 who are married are also eligible to vote.
Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 36.43% Male (15-24) %
  • 17.15% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 14.69%Male %
  • 9.71% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 11.80% Male (13-15) %
  • 5.60% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
A National Youth Policy was adopted in 2011. A Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper provides a brief description.

Niger’s National Youth Policy (PNJ), also called “National Youth Charter”, was created by Decree No. 2011-009/PCSRD/MJS. According to the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper: Economic and Social Development Plan (PDES) 2012-2015 (2013), the objective of the PNJ is to “promote the insertion of youth in social and cultural life and in economic activities, by developing education programmes to that end and by supporting initiatives for socio-economic integration”. Unfortunately no copy exists online.

To ensure that the PNJ can be effectively implemented, PDES identifies priority activities that include revising the legal framework of youth associations (as well as strengthening their material and logistical capacity), and creating a youth development fund to ensure permanent financing of the youth sector.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth and Sports is the main governmental agency responsible for youth in Niger. As described in Niger Diaspora, the ministry was responsible for the development of the National Youth Policy (PNJ) as well as a Sector Strategic Plan for the implementation of the policy. The strategic priorities of this plan include improving the legal and institutional framework of the youth sector and promoting economic integration of youth. Unfortunately, neither the policy nor its associated strategic plan exists online.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
As described on Jeunesse Duniger in September 2013, the National Youth Council of Niger (CNJN) is an independent, non-partisan advisory body under the supervision of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. CNJN includes all youth organisations and associations in Niger and is governed by a National Bureau composed of 33 elected members representing all 8 regions of Niger. It undertakes capacity-building projects with its members in areas as diverse as conflict management, climate change advocacy, and anti-corruption.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
XOF 19.5 billion
USD 40.8 million
In an interview with Niger Diaspora in February 2012, Hassan Kounou, former minister of Youth and Sport, stated that the Sector Strategic Plan (SSP) 2011-2015 for the implementation of the National Youth Policy is XOF 19.5 billion (USD 40.8 million). According to the World Bank, Niger spent 21.68% of its government expenditure and 4.21% of its GDP on education provision in 2011.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed May 2014).

Additional Background

From Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper: Economic and Social Development Plan (PDES) 2012-2015 (2013):  
Youth includes individuals of both sexes between the ages of 15 and 35. In terms of demographics, 56.5 percent of the Nigerien population is under the age of 15 and the annual youth growth rate over the period 2001-2010 is estimated to average 3.81 percent per year. The number of young people aged 15-35 is estimated at 4,914,140 in 2011, with 3,766,415 in rural areas and 1,147,725 in urban areas. However, these numbers are changing and show an upward trend for urban youth compared to youth in rural areas.
Young people are classified as among the most vulnerable groups since they face problems in health, education, sports, leisure, employment, socio-economic integration, and progressive loss of national cultural values.
In terms of demographic weight, young people represent an asset and enormous potential that can be mobilized for the country’s economic and social development.
  From Marrying Too Young: End Child Marriage (2012):  
In 2006, three out of four women aged 20 to 24 in Niger were married by age 18, the highest proportion in the world. Moreover, women in Niger give birth to an average of seven children. Recognizing the socio-cultural factors at work that increase girls’ vulnerability to child marriage, UNFPA is working at the community level with the Association of Traditional Chiefs to raise awareness of the perils of this practice, including the risk of maternal death and disability. Chiefs and religious leaders from the country’s eight regions are identifying culturally sensitive ways to discuss child marriage and the importance of girls’ education. In addition, televised Islamic religious programming is addressing the links between child marriage and maternal health. Working with traditional chiefs, the Schools of Husbands (“Ecoles de Maris”) are introducing child marriage prevention in their curricula to engage men in sexual and reproductive health and to foster positive norms change for women and girls. The Schools operates in the Zinder region, where 58 per cent of young women aged 20-24 were married by age 15 (compared to the national figure which is 36 per cent).