Boubou Hama

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Boubou Hama (1906–1982) was a Nigerien author, historian, and politician. He was President of the National Assembly of Niger under President of Niger, Hamani Diori.[1]

Life and works[edit]

Hama was born at Fonéko, a small Songhai village in western Niger.[1] He studied at the École normale supérieure William Ponty and began his career as a teacher, in the mid-1920s becoming the first French-trained primary school teacher from what would soon become Niger.[1] As a writer he worked in many genres including history and theater. His writing gained international attention when his autobiography Kotia-nima won the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire. His essay on African education won the Senghor Prize in the same year. His histories are said to place a great value on oral literature.[2]

Political career[edit]

Hama had been one of the founders of the Nigerien Progressive Party (PPN), a regional branch of the African Democratic Rally (RDA), and rose to become a close adviser of party leader and Deputy to the French National Assembly Hamani Diori. Following independence in 1960, the PPN became the ruling and sole legal party in Niger, and Hama became President of the National Assembly of Niger from 1961 to 1964. He was also one of the most prominent, and perhaps most powerful, members of the PPN politburo, which became the effective ruling body of the nation. One writer has called Boubou Hama the "eminence grise" behind Diori's rule.[3] The National Assembly of Niger met in largely ceremonial yearly sittings to ratify government positions. Traditional notables, elected as parliamentary representatives, often unanimously endorsed government proposals. Diori was re-elected unopposed in 1965 and 1970, but overthrown by military coup in 1974.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Un film retrace la vie de Boubou Hama, père de la culture nigérienne. APA (Dakar), 2010-04-08.
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of African literature By Simon Gikandi, pg 302
  3. ^ Samuel Decalo. Coups and Army Rule in Africa, Yale University Press (1990). ISBN 0-300-04045-8
  4. ^ Samuel Decalo. Historical Dictionary of Niger (3rd ed.). Scarecrow Press, Boston & Folkestone, (1997) ISBN 0-8108-3136-8