Key questions this article answers:
  1. What factors have led to the coup in Niger and the rash of coups across the Sahel since 2020?
  2. Why does Niger matter so much, and what are the implications of these developments for various stakeholders?

Upon assuming chairmanship of ECOWAS for one year on July 9th, President Tinubu said: “We will no longer tolerate coup after coup in West Africa”, to warm applause. Less than three weeks later, he had to make good on that statement when news of a coup in Niger broke on July 26th.

Tinubu did not only inherit a poor domestic economic situation in Nigeria from Muhammadu Buhari, but he also stepped into an increasingly unstable situation in West Africa. The coup in Niger is the sixth coup on the continent in only three years. Four of the six military regimes in Africa are in West Africa.


What is the reason for this state of affairs? Why does Niger (in particular) matter, and what does this mean for the various stakeholders, such as ECOWAS countries and businesses operating in the region? These are the three questions we will concern ourselves with