Nigerien Americans

Nigerien Americans are Americans of Nigerien descent. The 2000 census of the U.S. counted only 629 people of Nigerien ancestry among African immigrants in that country. The African slaves were captured in conflict with other African ethnic groups, many times in the interior of Africa, who enslaved and sold them to European and American slave traders in the African shores. Other ethnic groups from Niger arrived to United States before the twentieth century were Songhai and Tuareg people (either as slaves or immigrants).
However, after the abolition of slavery, Nigerien immigration must have been very scarce: In the 2000 US Census, only 629 people identified as being of Nigerien origin. So, although Nigerien Americans speak several African languages, the more used languages in the community are Hausa and Djerma. They also speak French (as a second language) and English.
Given the restrictions on emigration to Europe, most Nigeriens that are migrating go to the United States. Today most Nigeriens immigrating to the United States are directed to this country by a U.S. Green Card. They try to escape poverty, unemployment, high taxes, and to provide a good education for their children. Many of the Nigeriens manage to save enough money in United States to have a better life back to Niger. However, unemployment and other economic and labor problems prevent most Nigeriens living in the U.S. and other countries from returning to Niger, so must adapt to the new country in which they live. New York is one of the places that many of these immigrants come. Many Nigeriens have created families in the United States.
The Nigeriens living in the United States of America founded an association called CONUSA, linking the Nigerien community. The aim of this association is to promote solidarity among the Nigeriens living in the U.S., but also to find ways to participate in the development of Niger. In the short term, the Association implements projects to help young Nigeriens.
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