AREVA promotes peace in northern Niger through the Aïr Festival


March 28, 2013

In mid-March, AREVA and its mining partners in Niger (SOMAÏR, COMINAK and IMOURAREN SA) sponsored and took part in the 9th Aïr Festival in the rural community of Timia, an oasis located in the north of the country, 220 km from Arlit and Agadez.

The theme of this year’s festival was the consolidation of peace in Niger. During his remarks opening the festival, Nigerien Prime Minister Brigi Rafini thanked AREVA and its partners for providing logistics equipment for the event, which included paying for the traditional huts constructed by women from the region.

By giving the nomad populations in the Aïr region an opportunity to get together and share experiences, the festival is a powerful factor of social unity. About 3,000 people brought agricultural products and craft goods to display. Along with the promotion of local economic activities, the region’s cultural heritage was also celebrated with traditional and modern music as well as competitions in singing, poetry, camel racing and other disciplines.

Documentary films and photographs of AREVA’s social actions in Niger such as the rehabilitation of Fort Massu at Timia and the construction of a 3-km road to provide easier access to the community were also shown.

The Nigerien government and the local population expressed their gratitude for the assistance from AREVA and its partners, which has enabled the rural community of Timia to become a cultural and historical center for the entire Agadez region.