Oge Onubogu is the director of the West Africa program at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she leads programming in Nigeria, Coastal West Africa, Lake Chad Basin and the Gulf of Guinea. In this position, she provides leadership and oversees the design and implementation of projects to mitigate violent conflict, promote inclusion and strengthen community-oriented security by partnering with policymakers, civic leaders and organizations. Onubogu’s thematic focus is on governance and democracy, U.S.-Africa relations, and civil society development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to joining USIP in 2015, she managed governance, citizen engagement, and election programs in countries across West and Southern Africa with the National Democratic Institute. Before that, she was the program officer for West Africa at the National Endowment for Democracy, where for several years, she oversaw and managed a multi-million-dollar grants portfolio to civil society organizations in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Cameroon.

Onubogu has consulted for the World Bank, Freedom House and the Carter Center. She has also coordinated refugee resettlement programs with the International Rescue Committee. Onubogu is a regular commentator and speaker on Nigerian and African affairs. She has a bachelor’s in international and area studies from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s in international development from Brandeis University. She is also in the Public Leadership Credential program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Publications By Oge

Amid Nigeria’s Turmoil, an Election Could Alter its Democracy

Amid Nigeria’s Turmoil, an Election Could Alter its Democracy

Thursday, July 28, 2022

By: Oge Onubogu

In mid-summer 2022, Nigeria is just seven months away from elections that could strengthen, or set back, its democracy. Good news includes a surge in voter registrations and a wave of civic engagement among young Nigerians who in recent years have often despaired of better governance through elections. Yet dangers loom: risks of electoral violence or disputed election results in a country where political and criminal violence has reached new levels. To help Africa’s most populous nation pivot toward stability — and to indirectly bolster democratization across the continent — the United States and other international partners should provide diplomatic, political and technical support for Nigeria’s electoral authority.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceElectoral Violence

A New U.S. Plan to Avert Wider Conflicts in West Africa

A New U.S. Plan to Avert Wider Conflicts in West Africa

Thursday, April 7, 2022

By: Ambassador Terence P. McCulley;  Oge Onubogu

The United States is setting a new priority on building peace in five West African nations threatened by domestic crises and by violence that is spreading from the neighboring Sahel region. The White House named those countries among others in which to launch a new U.S. strategy to prevent violent conflicts in unstable regions. This choice signaled that stability in coastal West Africa is a vital U.S. interest — and that these five countries, while in varied stages of building democracies, can strengthen democracy and stability with more focused, long-term U.S. support. A broad consultation of scholarly and policy experts on coastal West Africa is buttressing that idea.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience

Guinea’s Lesson for Strengthening Democracy: Use ‘Peer Power’

Guinea’s Lesson for Strengthening Democracy: Use ‘Peer Power’

Thursday, December 9, 2021

By: Oge Onubogu ;  Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

As dozens of nations seek to strengthen democracy at this week’s White House summit, indicators for effective methods can be found in Guinea, one of five nations that this year suffered a coup by its military. An overarching lesson is for the United States and other more distant governments and institutions to recognize the greater efficacy of putting regional communities in the lead. For Guinea, this will mean supporting a stronger role by neighboring countries and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)—a 15 nation grouping that has shown real promise as a promoter of democracy.

Civilian-Military RelationsDemocracy & Governance

It’s Time to End ‘Business as Usual’ With Nigeria

It’s Time to End ‘Business as Usual’ With Nigeria

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

By: Oge Onubogu

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit this week to Nigeria is timely, for Africa’s demographic giant is shuddering with its most dangerous instability in 50 years: insurgencies, uncontrolled criminality and constrictions of freedom of expression. Nigeria is failing to fulfill basic tasks of a nation-state, and its partners need to halt “business as usual” to open an honest dialogue about the current failings. For the United States, this means dropping some old practices in the way America engages Nigerians. U.S. engagements must center more on Nigeria’s citizenry, notably the 70 percent who are younger than 35, and with Nigeria’s 36 disparate states. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceGlobal Policy

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