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

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

Nigeria Needs Justice, Not Payoffs, to Build Peace

Nigeria Needs Justice, Not Payoffs, to Build Peace

Thursday, March 18, 2021

By: Oge Onubogu

When gunmen stormed a Nigerian government high school last week, kidnapping dozens of students for ransom, this fourth mass kidnapping in three months underscored that Nigeria’s response so far is not reducing the violence and insecurity spreading across the country’s north. That response has been largely ad hoc, a mix of federal military actions, state officials negotiating with the criminal gangs and, allegedly, the payment of ransoms. A more effective response will require better coordination among federal and state authorities, the inclusion of civil society in a broad strategy, and support from the international community.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Protests Test Nigeria’s Democracy and its Leadership in Africa

Protests Test Nigeria’s Democracy and its Leadership in Africa

Thursday, October 22, 2020

By: Oge Onubogu

Nigeria’s protests against police brutality already were the largest in the country’s history before security forces opened fire on a crowd in Lagos on October 20. The protest and bloodshed have only heightened the need for the government in Africa’s most populous country to end the pattern of violence by security forces against civilians. Leaders must finally acknowledge that this brutality has fueled violent extremism. How the Nigerian government will respond to citizens’ insistent demand for accountable governance will influence similar struggles—for democracy, accountability, nonviolence and stability—across much of Africa.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent ExtremismDemocracy & GovernanceNonviolent Action

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