This research paper focuses on important livelihood activities in the licit economy of northern Niger and how it evolved. This paper will attempt to highlight the important historical dates that changed the dynamics in northern Niger, and different motivations for different groups of people crossing borders into Libya. While the main focus is on the Agadez Region, the paper touches on the important trends in Libya that had a notable impact on the livelihoods of northern Nigerien communities. It then identifies and defines today’s different livelihood activities benefiting the Agadez population. Licit goods in this report refer to items that are legal, regardless if they entered Niger legally or not. For the purpose of this paper, illicit trafficking of drugs and arms will not be discussed.
This research was conducted through extensive desk research in addition to a result of multiple trips made to the region since 2014. The research was also complemented by several interviews with northern Nigeriens directly affected by the local economy’s transformation and regional trends. Local contributors include members of civil society, a migrant transporter, a tour guide, and gold miners.