On Thursday, July 28, the Africa Center hosted a breakfast roundtable with His Excellency Brigi Rafini, Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger, to discuss development and security challenges currently faced by the country. The event coincided with the signing of a $437 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact between the United States and Niger, scheduled for July 29.
Africa Center Director Dr. J. Peter Pham welcomed attendees, introduced Rafini, and, following the prime minister’s remarks, moderated the discussion.
In his remarks, Rafini outlined the development progress the Republic of Niger has made since constitutional order was restored and President Mahamadou Issoufou was elected in 2011. In addition, the prime minister highlighted the threat of food insecurity and drought in the Sahel, and the importance of agriculture for the economy. He also touched on the security challenges facing the country, including, notably, the ongoing threat of terrorism and human trafficking concerns. Finally, he thanked the United States and France for the continued military and intelligence cooperation in addressing these security challenges.
Participants at the roundtable included His Excellency Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, minister and chief of staff to the president of the Republic of Niger; Her Excellency Kane Aichatou Boulama, minister of planning from the Republic of Niger; Her Excellency Hassana Alidou, ambassador from the Republic of Niger to the US; Gado Mahamadou, chief of staff to the prime minister; Wandeba Botourou, Nigerien high commissioner to the 3N Initiative; Dr. Ahmat Jidoud, minister delegate of the budget for the Republic of Niger; Peter Barlerin, deputy assistant secretary, US Department of State; Amanda Dory, deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs, US Department of Defense; The Honorable Eunice Reddick, US ambassador to the Republic of Niger; and Ambassador Bisa Williams, former US ambassador to the Republic of Niger.
For more on the event, see “Investment Compact Brings Hope to Niger.”