He was educated locally before he went to train as a teacher at the William Ponty School in Dakar.
He returned to become a teacher. A founder member, in 1946, of the Niger Progressive Party (PPN), the local wing of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain, he became the party president shortly before his election to the Niamey Municipal Council in November 1956. In the Territorial Assembly elections of March 1957, when Djibo Bakary’s Niger Democratic Union won a large majority, he held on to his seat and resolved to campaign alongside Hamani Diori. Their hour was to come in the de Gaulle referendum of September 1958, when the PPN won an overwhelming “yes” vote. The PPN triumphed in the December elections which followed and he became President of the National Assembly, a post he has held ever since.
In October 1959 the opposition was banned and Djibo Bakary went into exile. This gave him full scope as leader of the only legal party in the country. He built up the party over the years to a membership of over 300,000. He instituted a major reorganisation of the party machine in October 1968. Another major reorganisation was attempted in 1971 and in 1972 the party modified its statutes, which had not been changed since 1946. But the real strength of the party was less in its organisation and more in the character and personality of Boubou Hama himself. In 1972 he spoke out against Niger’s over-dependence on France. He made a long speech at the Party Anniversary Congress on May 12, 1972, asking for new international links to be formed. He also accused the French of being behind student unrest.
Acknowledged as number two to President Hamani Diori and in a strong position as leader of the party. A writer of many books on Africa’s peoples and evolution, yet he also has a direct appeal to the traditional rural sector and to the older generation. Ten years older than Diori, he has been an invaluable prop and close colleague since the days when they formed the PPN together. A man of simple tastes and integrity, he is chairman of several state corporations. He agreed to give up 20% of his salary for relief of drought-stricken areas in February 1973.