The Republic of Niger is the largest country in West Africa, named after the Niger River. Over 80 percent of its land is covered by the Sahara Desert.
The former French colony acquired its freedom in 1960 and is still one of the world's poorest countries. It was ranked last at 187th in the United Nations' Human Development Index in 2013.
The Niger Delta is home to thousands of illegal small-scale oil refineries, seen as a danger to both the environment and the local population. But a recent military crackdown on thousands of refineries in the southern swamps has raised tensions.
Idi Sarki and Majesty Soul are rappers from Niger. The two have joined forces to produce rap songs critical of their country's government and civil society groups. And, their music is gaining traction, not only in Niger but across Africa and the world. Abu-Bakaar Jalloh presents this report by Mouhamadou Awal Balarabe.
On this week's Pulse, we will be marching to the Afrobeat; meeting Niger rappers who use music to make their political voices heard. Pop across the borders: we get up close and personal with German singer Oceana. And, young people in Japan who are challenging work ideas and dreaming big. Tune in to this jam-packed edition of Pulse for more.