Niger, officially the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. Niger covers a land area of almost 1,270,000 km2, making it the largest country in West Africa, with over 80 percent of its land area covered by the Sahara Desert. The country's predominantly Islamic population of 17,138,707 is mostly clustered in the far south and west of the country. The capital city is Niamey, located in the far-southwest corner of Niger.
A developing country, it is a former French colony which was granted independence in 1960. The land is mostly desert plains and dunes, with rolling savanna in the southeast.