Littattafan Soyayya: The Love Stories Hausa Women are Telling

By Elsa Sichrovsky Almost half of Niger’s population belongs to the Hausa ethnic group, so Hausa language and culture are essential to Niger’s ethnic melting pot. In recent years, a new and exciting genre of Hausa literature has been changing the lives of women in Niger and northern Nigeria. This new literary movement originated in Kano,… Read more »

International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028

by Michelle Nelson von Euw “Access to water and sanitation is a precondition to life and a declared human right.” – United Nations As evidenced by the frequency with which it appears in the Sustainable Development Goals, access to clean, well-managed water, for both consumption and sanitation, is vital for human development. Any level of… Read more »

Sarraounia Mangou: Niger’s Forgotten Princess

by: Elsa Sichrovsky During the “Scramble for Africa” of the late nineteenth century, where European colonial powers rushed to conquer, and exploit the African continent, a powerful queen emerged: Sarraounia (Hausa for “queen”or “female chief”), leader of the Anza people in Lougou, Niger. Although, French historical documents give little information about this fascinating woman, the information… Read more »

Nigerien Hip-Hop: The Voice of Niger’s Youth

By: Elsa Sichrovsky Although hip-hop music may be widely considered a product of American pop culture, Niger has also produced hip-hop artists of outstanding talent. They use music as a medium to raise awareness for the social issues of their generation. Nigerien hip-hop was indeed heavily influenced by American culture in its early stages[1]. Eventually,… Read more »

The Power of Hope

by Elaine Wallace Psychologists have long been aware of the importance of hope in helping us achieve our personal goals, but hope isn’t just a feel-good emotion that prompts us to work towards a promotion or try to lose a few pounds. According to economists, hope also plays a vital role in reducing world poverty…. Read more »

Bridging the Gap: Empowerment and Education in Niger’s “Husband Schools”

by Hannah Lichtenstein An interesting tension exists in the socio-cultural plane in Niger as it does in many West African countries. Nigerien men generally operate outside of the household as the “breadwinners,” making a living toiling in economic spheres such as agriculture or mining. Women, on the other hand, are the nurturing caretakers, responsible for… Read more »

Voting Power: How Women Leaders in Niger Changed History

by Shayna Watson There are approximately 3.8 billion women on Earth. As roughly 50% of the world’s population, women are a powerful force across the globe – but what about in national-level leadership? As of January 2017, women accounted for only 23.3% of all national leaders globally. And these figures get even more disproportionate when… Read more »

Professor Antoinette Tidjani Alou: Voice of Nigerien Women

by Elsa Sichrovsky Looking only at statistics, it is easy to misconceive that Niger is a nation that cannot produce great literature. Literacy rates among young people aged 15-to-24 years old are 36.43% and 17.15% for males and females respectively[1]. Literacy rates are especially low for women; just 11.04% of the adult female population. But… Read more »

Guérewol, a Celebration of Love and Beauty in the Desert

by Lilia Leung September marks the end of the rainy season in West Africa. Some West African nomadic tribes, such as the Tuareg and the Wodaabe, commemorate this event with festivals and rituals. One of these festivals is the Guérewol, a week-long courtship ritual that takes place at particular gathering points in West Africa. The… Read more »