U.S. relations with Niger have generally been close and friendly since Niger attained independence. The U.S. Peace Corps program in Niger, which started in 1962, currently has about 130 volunteers in country and celebrated its 45th anniversary in September 2007. Although USAID does not have a Mission in Niger, $30 million in annual official aid is administered through American and local non-governmental organizations. Niger maintains a special relationship with France and enjoys close relations with its West African neighbors. It is a charter member of the African Union and the West African Monetary Union and also belongs to the Niger River and Lake Chad Basin Commissions, the Economic Community of West African States, the Nonaligned Movement, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Modern Flag of Niger
The United States recognized the Republic of Niger on August 3, 1960, in a congratulatory message from President Dwight D. Eisenhower to Prime Minister Hamani Diori. Niger had been previously under French sovereignty.
Diplomatic relations were established on August 3, 1960, when Donald R. Norland presented credentials as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim, August 2, 1960, to take effect the following day.
The American Embassy in Niamey was established on February 3, 1961, with Joseph W. Schutz as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim.