Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is one of the hottest countries in the world, with over 80% of its land area lying in the Sahara Desert. In spite of the difficult climate, over 75% of the employed population work in agriculture and this sector constituted nearly 40% of GDP in 2017. The majority of the 22 million inhabitants live in rural areas in the south of the country. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, GDP per capita was just over US$1,000 in 2017, and it was ranked last in the UN Human Development Index in the same year.
The key piece of recent land legislation in Niger is the Rural Code (1993). Its objectives were to increase rural tenure security; improve management and organisation of rural land; and encourage sustainable natural resource management, predominantly through decentralisation of land administration and registration of customary land rights. However, it has not been fully implemented due to a lack of capacity to manage land registration and confusion over details of registration rights. This has led to an increase in land disputes.
Women and men have equal de jure rights to land. However, in reality, women depend on male family members to access land.