The traditional Niamey market burnt down in 1982, disrupting the commercial activities of some 3000 shopkeepers. In 1983, the government of Niger came to an agreement with the ACAA (Coopération Francaise) and decided to build a modernized market on the same site. A French architectural company (KPDV) with a long-standing experience in Niger -25 years - was commissioned to design the structure.
The new market is located in a dense urban area of Niamey, the capital city of Niger and is bounded by the town's main thoroughfare, the Avenue de Ia Liberté. The overall structure, built on one level, shelters the following facilities: 1863 small shops; 992 stalls in the covered halls; an administration building; a small post office; a dispensary; a police station; and sanitary facilities. Parking space is provided in the areas adjacent to market.
The ground plan is symmetrically arranged or both sides of a central alley running on a north-south axis, the floor surface is further divided into six sectors by secondary walkways which cut diagonally through the rectangular ground plan. The centre of the rectangle is occupied by the administration building and an almost totally covered area. A high boundary wall, inspired from those protecting the traditional villages of the region, delimits the market area and contributes to create a micro-climate within. Access is through two main gates leading into the central alley, or through secondary entrances placed at each corner of the market, additional smaller entrances lead directly into the halls. The interior spaces are 7m high, which ensures a more extensive vision of the maze of columns and stalls as well as better ventilation and climatic control. Vertical sun-breakers and a cellular open structure provide shade and air circulation.