PROGRES is the main program in Niger. The purpose is to improve the rights of nomads and fight against an economically marginalisation. The nomads represent 20 percent of Niger’s population. They contribute with 15 percent of the country’s GDP, of which meat and uranium is the most important export. Still, nomads receive less than 3 percent of all public investments.
The main partner is the union of nomads, Association pour la Rédynamisation de l’elevage (AREN), who represents 66.000 nomads divided between the whole country and the regional network of nomads, Billital Maroobé (RBM), who represents 400.000 nomads in seven west African countries (Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Benin og Mauritanien). The program fights for more investments in the great dessert area; the home of nomads, which will give them more basic rights such as education and health.
Because nomads literally cross lines, the program cooperates with Billital Maroobé, who fights to change regional politicans’ opinion on nomads. Hopefully they will realise that mobility is an important part of nomads’ way of living and a surviving strategy.
The organisational chart of civil society and their members.
Rights: When talking about violation of rights, nomads is a vulnerable group in society. They often get exposed to physic violations, illegal rating and blackmailing or are illegally imprisoned. AREN receives a large number of phone calls from nomads in trouble, and they are using many resources on hiring lawyers. In national reports on human rights, nomads are rarely mentioned. CARE wants to help AREN make the violations a national problem. This is done by creating a cooperation relation between the national union of human rights ANDDH and AREN, who will be able to document the violations and create a dialogue with the government.
Construction of capacity: Civil society of Niger is young. Most unions were created in the early 90’s. It is necessary to build a stronger civil society to keep the government responsible for any politician act. The program is searching for a new construction of capacity, in which CARE’s partners are able to define how much support they need to strengthen their union structure and activity.
Mobility: Mobility is the underlying basis for nomads. Lack of land and missing implementing of legislation puts the mobility – which is supposed to secure areas for nomads to travel to the southern markets – under a lot of pressure. The project supports AREN’s fight for including nomads in legislation, such as dialogue with areas of nomads to secure better access to countries like Nigeria.
Politician lobbyism: The program supports the investments in both national and regional politician lobbyism in resorts of nomads. Billital Maroobe is supported in working with the regional West African policy of agriculture, which makes sure that investments in nomads aren’t forgotten.
The region of Diffa in Niger, Niamey in politican lobbyism on national level and ECOWA’s politician institutions.
Duration and budget:
January 2013 – December 2017, the 6 million kroner budget is financed by Danida.
The program is implemented by three national (ANDDH, DEMI-E & AREN) and one regional (Billital Maroobé) partners.
Line Gamrath Rasmussen
Programme Coordinator, Niger
+45 35 200 100