Niger celebrates its Independence Day on August 3 every year. Niger acquired freedom from France in 1960. Niger was placed under the control of France at the Conference of Berlin in 1884-85. The country was thus a French colony influenced by France’s colonial policies. The French began to expand their influence by establishing military posts in different parts of the region including Southern Niger during the 1890s. However, the French failed to capture Agadez and encountered strong resistance from Tuareg.
In 1900, Niger was transformed into a military territory. It was designated as another colony in the French West African region with its capital at Zinder. Post 1926, the capital was shifted to Niamey. The French colonists did not alter the contemporary governmental structure and carried out the administrative functions within the existing framework.
Niger attained complete independence from French control in 1960 after which Hamari Dioni was elected as the first president of the country. Independence Day in Niger marked the end of a prolonged period of French dominion. Since 1975, Independence Day is also known as Arbor Day. On this day, trees are planted all across the country to help in the fight against desertification.