In this post, we shall examine the ways Nigeria has shown the world that Africa is the centrepiece of her foreign policy. At the end of this lesson, students should be able to discuss these demonstrations.
Ways Nigeria has Demonstrated Her Africa-Centred Foreign Policy
Nigeria’s foreign policy has consistently emphasized Africa as the centrepiece of its diplomatic endeavours. Over the years, Nigeria has actively demonstrated its commitment to promoting African unity, decolonization, economic cooperation, peacekeeping, and cultural exchange.
Several ways in which Nigeria has showcased its Africa-centred foreign policy are as follows:
- Support for the OAU (Organization of African Unity): Nigeria has been a strong supporter of the OAU, providing political, financial, and diplomatic backing to the organization.
- Opposition to Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism: Nigeria has committed itself to eliminating all forms of colonial and neo-colonial domination in Africa. It has extended aid and material assistance to freedom fighters in their struggle against colonial oppressors.
- Solidarity with Anti-Apartheid Movement: Nigeria identified itself with the anti-apartheid front, providing moral, political, financial, material, and diplomatic support to the liberation movement in South Africa, in the fight against racial discrimination.
- Promotion of Intra-African Economic Cooperation: Nigeria actively advocates for intra-African economic cooperation. Initiatives like the creation of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) in 1975 and the African Economic Community in 1991 demonstrate Nigeria’s commitment to regional economic integration.
- Peaceful Settlement of Inter-State Disputes: Nigeria plays an active role in settling political crises within the continent, particularly through the formation of ECOMOG (Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group), which facilitates peacekeeping efforts in countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone.
- Promotion of Intra-African Sporting Competitions: Nigeria supports and promotes intra-African sporting events, hosting important competitions such as the All African Games and the African Nations Cup co-hosted by Nigeria and Ghana, fostering regional sportsmanship and cultural exchange.
- Provision of Technical Aid and Expertise: Nigeria provides technical aid and expertise to sister African states through initiatives like TACS (Technical Aid Corps Scheme), offering assistance in areas like education, health, and agriculture.
- Promotion of Cultural Ties: Nigeria actively fosters cultural ties among African nations, exemplified by events like the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) held in Lagos in 1977, which showcased African arts and culture.
- Advocacy for Unified African Voice: Nigeria encourages other African countries to speak with one voice at international organizations such as the United Nations, the OAU (now the African Union), and the Commonwealth of Nations, promoting collective representation of African interests on the global stage.