As per archaeological evidence found in the regions of Niger, it is believed that the country has remained inhabited by humans since the Stone Age. Several hunter-gatherer tribes dwelled in the region for thousands of years. This was also the time when the sub-Saharan region was quite green and was a part of the Green Sahara. However, agriculture and other art forms like pottery developed during the Neolithic age when humans were living the life of a social animal. Local culture flourished gradually during this period.
It was in the early medieval period when the country witnessed the rise of different empires. Mali Empire, which is often considered the strongest ever in the region, ruled Niger from the 13th century till the 15th century. Songhai Empire centred on the Niger River also ruled the country between 1000 and 1591. The Sultanate of Air, Kanem-Bornu Empire, Hausa Kingdom and a few other small kingdoms also flourished until the 19th century. This was the time when the country was developing at its own pace. Infrastructure was built and Niger slowly became an important centre of trade and politics in West Africa.
In the early 20th century after the Europeans started sailing towards Niger, the country became a French colony. This foreign invasion led to the development of Niger on a large scale. They ruled the country for more than 50 years until eventually, Niger gained complete independence from France in the year 1960.