Nigeria’s security challenges have metastasized over the past decade, constraining governance capacity and deepening public distrust in its institutions. As Africa’s most populous democracy and largest economy, Nigeria’s stability has significant implications for the region, as well as for U.S. efforts to promote effective democracy in Africa. Since 2015, USIP has worked to strengthen relationships between communities and the security sector, as well as mitigate intercommunal, pastoralist-farmer and election-related violence through trainings, dialogue and mediation. USIP also conducts research and convenes state-level elected officials, national policymakers and civic leaders to inform and implement inclusive policies that prevent or reduce violence and strengthen community-oriented security.
Learn more in USIP’s fact sheet on The Current Situation in Nigeria.
Dealing with people who leave violent extremist groups has become one of the most pressing security issues of our time. Drawing on new primary research conducted by the author in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria, and existing research on disengagement and reintegration, this report underscores the challenges of administering rehabilitation programs in conditions of chronic insecurity—and of doing so at a scale sufficient to make a difference to hundreds or even thousands of people in short order.
Nigeria’s latest elections heighten the country’s need for a reset of its democracy. Nigeria’s two dominant parties abandoned an informal pact that has rotated power between north and south, papering over the deeper, wider problem of ensuring real political inclusion among Nigeria’s disparate regions and communities. The recent national and state-level votes failed to deliver anguished Nigerians the promise of wider voter participation and transparent election results. Still, the campaigns and voting contained seeds for critical change that now must be cultivated by Nigeria’s newly elected government; its courageous, pro-democracy civil society; its vast, energized youth population; and its partners.
Nigeria’s disputed election 12 days ago is raising protest at home and concern abroad over its implications for the strength of democracy in that country and across Africa. Yesterday’s new wrinkle was the postponement of this week’s planned election for Nigerian state governors. Nigeria’s electoral commission is working to fix problems in a vote management system that failed to transparently process and report a result on February 25. An erosion of democracy’s credibility in Africa’s most populous nation would be catastrophic.
Built upon the belief that youth bring significant and unique insight to peacebuilding, the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) provides a mechanism through which USIP experts can benefit from youth perspectives and expertise. The YAC enables USIP staff to engage youth as partners, experts, and practioners while elevating youth voices and experience to the international level. The YAC contributes to USIP’s vision for an inclusive approach to peacebuilding. The Youth Advisory Council meets regularly to bring together youth thought leaders and peacebuilding experts committed to the Institute’s mission and activities.
Generation Change works with young leaders across the globe to foster collaboration, build resilience and strengthen capacity as they transform local communities.
The Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance is a joint initiative between USIP and senior leaders from Nigerian civil society to promote good governance practices that strengthen the foundations of peace and security for all Nigerians. Using a cohesive, strategic approach to engage in and advocate for peace and security, the working group fosters relationships between citizens and governors, ensuring that citizens' voices impact crucial decisions.