435th AEW NEWS ARTICLES

Airmen visit local bazaar at Nigerien Air Base 201

AGADEZ, Niger --

Jewelry, wooden animal replicas, knives, rugs, and other merchandise lay displayed in front of merchants from the city of Agadez for the bi-monthly bazaar at Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger on April 16, 2017.

 

More than 15 vendors set up shop for Airmen deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron to browse through and purchase unique gifts from, which in turn help to feed their families.

 

“This bazaar is incredibly important for the merchants,” said Army Capt. Kyle Staron, Civil Affairs Team leader. “The money they make today will help them feed up to 20 to 25 family members for a couple of months.”

 

While the bazaar helps to generate income for merchants, it also helps to build relations between U.S. service members and Nigeriens.

 

“The community sees this base as the first step to rebuilding their economy,” said Staron. “We want to build and maintain good relations by helping the community.”

 

As part of the initiative, the Civil Affairs Team coordinates with an organization in Agadez to get merchants who would like to partake in the bazaar.

 

 “(For the bazaar) we go out to an organization called the Artisans Village in Agadez which represents about 93 sub–organizations and about 1,900 people,” said Staron “We bring the merchants on base so that the Airmen have the opportunity to engage with the local community and help stimulate the economy.”

 

For Airmen who visited the bazaar, the experience was more than positive.

 

“It’s a dream come true for me because I’ve always wanted to come to Africa, and my first week here I get to experience a bazaar,” said Staff Sgt. Lorrentis Oliver, 31st Expeditionary Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers heavy equipment operator. “I’ll definitely plan on coming back to buy a rug to take home next time.”

 

Altogether the vendors were able to make a total profit equivalent to $6,152 U.S. dollars during the bazaar which will help to stimulate the local Agadez economy.