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posted on 7 Sep, 2016

German minister visits social marketing project in Niger

On 9 August 2016, Gerd Müller, German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, visited a social marketing project in Niger financed by KfW. The project has been financed by the German government since 2003. It targets reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention and is implemented by GFA in cooperation with ANIMAS-SUTURA, a local NGO and social marketing agency established in 2007. The national agency has been responsible for developing, distributing and marketing high-quality, inexpensive condoms. ANIMAS-SUTURA has also produced public awareness material and organized events in the country's primary regions of German development assistance.

Aside from public awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention, measures related to safeguarding reproductive health have been promoted since 2010. The activities have covered modern family planning methods, the marketing of contraceptives, and a variety of messages conveyed through radio, TV, theatre, video clips, films, and commercials during sports events broadcast nationwide.

Girls and women have been major target groups for ANIMAS-SUTURA awareness raising and promotional activities. Women are married at a young age, i.e. at 15, and give birth to an average of eight children. For a number of years, the NGO has also been supporting Niger's efforts toward the lower population growth that is crucial to the country's social and economic development.

During the minister's and German delegation's one-hour visit at ANIMAS-SUTURA, discussions focused on the close link between development success and demographic challenges. Prevention measures related to migration, proactive family planning, health and education are core elements to meet those challenges.

After the KFW office director in Niger and the director of ANIMAS-SUTURA had welcomed the German delegation, the NGO presented the approaches and results of its work. This was followed by talks with artists and sports figures. Among them was Nigerian singer Fati Mariko, who gained nationwide fame for her commitment for the rights of women and girls. Popular Nigerian wrestlers presented the minister with a symbolic wrestler trophy. The wrestlers promote the “Foula” condoms created by ANIMAS-SUTURA on occasion of the annual wrestling contest broadcast on TV nationwide. ANIMAS-SUTURA also presented social marketing products such as condoms, contraceptive pills and three-month injections, and answered questions related to the products. After the visit at ANIMAS-SUTURA, Fati Mariko rendered a few of her songs at a German Embassy reception.

Minister Müller's visit to Niger focused on migration and security issues in the context of economic and demographic trends in the country. Niger is the least developed country in the world, with an annual population growth of almost 4%, and it is a transit and recipient country in West Africa.

German development assistance in Niger focuses on productive agriculture and food security as well as good governance and decentralization. Bilateral community-based investment funds to improve economic, social and public infrastructure, modern family planning methods and education safeguard reproductive health.

More information can be retrieved at

>> Website KfW

>> Website BMZ

by  Monika Franzke