Cape Town: As Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan pays a state visit to South Africa this week, it is worth assessing that country's foreign policy. Nigeria likes to see itself as the "giant of Africa": it has impeccable "struggle credentials", having played a leading role in the liberation of Southern Africa; its peacekeepers helped calm two civil conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 1990s; it was instrumental in building the institutions of the African Union (AU); and it has peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur region, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, and Mali. Yet Nigeria has become a giant with clay feet, a regional Gulliver tied down by the petty ambitions and often inhumane greed of Lilliputian politicians, who have prevented a country of enormous potential from fulfilling its leadership aspirations in Africa.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, explains the trajectory of Nigeria's foreign policy, given the current difficult domestic circumstances. He says what is uppermost is the interplay of citizens’ welfare and economic determinism on one hand, as well as the balance of power dynamics with national interests on the other hand. He spoke to The Guardian's Foreign Affairs Editor, Oghogho Obayuwana, in Abuja.
Tunis: This Country Strategy Paper (CSP) proposes a strategy for supporting Nigeria’s development efforts over the period 2013-2017 and is anchored on creating a sound policy environment and investing in critical infrastructure. This strategy is aligned with the long-term development agenda of the new administration as outlined in the vision 20:2020 and anchored on the Government’s Transformation Agenda (TA:2011-2015). It is also aligned with the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) (2011-2013) - jointly prepared by the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department for International Development (DFID); and with the Country Assistance Framework (CAF) currently being developed by the donor community in Nigeria.
Cape Town: The Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) briefed the Committee on the current political situation in Mali. The briefing was undertaken by DIRCO Director General Ambassador Jerry Matjila, assisted by Ambassador Mdu Lembede, Chief Director DIRCO. Ambassador Matjila noted that Mali was one of the biggest countries in West Africa. Mali was landlocked by seven countries and arms were entering the country via Libya. If Libya was stabilised then the entire region would be stabilised. Mali was also not unaffected by the drug trade. Drugs were entering Mali from the south such as from South Africa, Nigeria and Guinea. The drugs were on route to Asia and Europe.
New York: Cocaine trafficking, the smuggling of migrants, and the trafficking of fraudulent pharmaceuticals are among the numerous damaging illegal activities perpetrated by transnational organized crime syndicates which continue to fuel instability across West Africa, a new United Nations report released today has warned. The report, a threat assessment issued by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and entitled Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa, cautions that the profit from cocaine trafficking alone may still be larger than the national security budgets of several West African countries, causing difficulties for local law enforcement.
Accra: Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has unveiled a major new initiative to help tackle the growing threat from illegal drug trafficking in West Africa. The West Africa Commission on the Impact of Drugs on Governance, Security and Development (WACD) was launched on Thursday at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Centre in Accra, Ghana. The Commission has been formed in response to the dramatic surge in drug trafficking through West Africa over the past decade.
1. The Extra-Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) took place on 19 January 2013 in Abidjan, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, under the chairmanship of H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and Chairman of the Authority. 2. The Summit was convened to review the latest political and security developments in Mali, in particular the modalities for the accelerated deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) in the light of the deteriorating security situation in the north of Mali in the aftermath of the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2085 (2012). The Summit also reviewed the latest political and security developments in Guinea Bissau.
Abuja: Prospects for the proposed take-off of a single currency regime by 2015 remained blurred as none of the six member countries of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) including Nigeria, satisfied the required macroeconomic convergence criteria last year. The drive towards the adoption of a single currency regime in the West African sub-region was originally fixed for 2003 but this had been postponed three times largely because of “mixed” progress among member countries in attaining the set criteria.
Lagos: A judgment by the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice (ECOWAS) has been hailed as a key moment in "holding governments and companies to account for pollution", Amnesty International and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) said. In the case, SERAP v. Nigeria, the Court unanimously found the Nigerian government responsible for abuses by oil companies and makes it clear that the government must hold the companies and other perpetrators to account.
Accra: Former Nigerian military and civilian Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo has hash words for African dictators and sit-tight leaders: "You are now endangered species. We don't have to worry ourselves over sit-tight rulers. How many of them are left now? They are becoming endangered species," Chief Obasanjo said in an answer to a question on why Africa is menaced by a host of power-thirsty rulers who do not want to leave office and often manipulate elections to remain in power. The question came after Obasanjo, who is the joint head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union (AU) observer missions to Ghana 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections, presented the preliminary observations of the two bodies on Saturday night.