Benin, Niger & Nigeria: A strong potential for co-operation
The number of people living within the zone of a border market - between 30 minutes and four hours of travel - illustrates the functional dimensions of an area characterised by dense socio‑economic interactions. One of the largest population basins is on the Niger-Nigeria border. If border delays were reduced by one hour, the Hausa border markets could potentially reach an additional 44 million people. This difference illustrates the potential population gain, if strategies were implemented to reduce the number of inspections or to facilitate transactions at the border, for example. In a smaller region like Dendi, the additional population that could be reached by eliminating border delays is 2.4 million or an increase of 41%, a clear indication of the high level of border constraints that currently exist. This map offers food for thought when considering investment strategies: Which are most effective? Strategies that favour the homogenous spatial distribution of investments, those which are in line with national policy priorities, or again strategies which focus on areas that are likely to generate greater regional integration? The map also illustrates the region’s enormous development potential and the ramifactions for urban-rural relations, economic opportunities and food security.