Money & Shopping
The West African CFA franc (XOF) is used by Niger and pronounced "say-eff-ah". It's also used by Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal and Togo. While strictly a separate currency from the Central African CFA franc (XAF), the two currencies are used interchangeably at par throughout all CFA franc (XAF & XOF) using countries.
Both CFA francs are guaranteed by the French treasury and are pegged to the euro at €1 = XOF655.957.
US dollars and other foreign currency are not accepted in daily transactions, only to exchange into local money via a bank or black market. Exception: near the border of Nigeria, the devaluing Nigerian currency Naira is accepted.
from 2014 all Ecobank ATMs in Niger take Master card or visa card for cash withdrawals.
Bargaining and haggling is essential and expected. It's best to have a low price and a maximum price in mind before entering into a negotiation. If the price is higher than you want, just say thanks and walk away: if you were offering a fair price you will be called back. If you were offering too low a price, you won't be called back, but you can always go back later and offer more.
Nigerien artisan specialities include:
- intricately imprinted leather boxes (ranging from small 5cm boxes to full-size trunks)
- other leather goods
- silver jewellery
- colourful hand-woven wedding blankets
- coloured straw mats (and here, we don't mean the plastic mats from China)
- fabric (only the Enitex brand is made in Niger, but there are many other kinds that are also good)