Nigeria Policy Initiative | Wilson Center
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Nigeria Policy Initiative

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The Wilson Center Africa Program hosted an initial planning meeting of the proposed Nigeria Policy Initiative (NPI) on Thursday, January 24, 2019. Dr. Adesoji Adelaja, Global Fellow with the Wilson Center Africa Program and the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University, and Dr. Olufemi Vaughn, Alfred Sargent Lee & Mary Ames Lee Professor of Black Studies at Amherst College and former Wilson Center Fellow and Public Policy Fellow with the Wilson Center Africa Program led the meeting. Ms. Hannah Akuiyibo welcomed the attendees—an array of experts from think tanks, USG-funded institutions, and the private sector.

Drs. Adelaja and Vaughan presented their concept for the NPI, a project that seeks to identify the structural and systemic factors in Nigeria that limit the ability of the government to address citizens’ needs and to formulate effective policy solutions. In the context of Nigeria’s importance on the continent and to U.S.-Africa relations, Dr. Adelaja spoke to the need for merging academic expertise and actionable policy solutions to meet the challenges identified by the NPI. Dr. Vaughan presented 14 topics areas the NPI could focus on, including economic, social, and governance issues. For the initial stages of the initiative, they identified four key focus areas: youth, transhumance and the farmer/herder conflict, the diaspora, and the 2019 elections.

The attendees offered input and recommendations for how best to implement the NPI. Key suggestions included initially focusing on a single critical issue to establish the NPI model, planning for how to address challenges in the policymaking environment in Nigeria, and considerations of how to build ownership of the NPI in Nigeria. In sum, this initial planning meeting served as a productive introduction to the NPI and set the foundation for further collaboration between the speakers, guests, and the Africa Program.

Speakers

Moderator

Speakers

  • Adesoji Adelaja

    Global Fellow
    John A Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Policy, Michigan State University
  • Olufemi Vaughan

    Public Policy Fellow
    Alfred Sargent Lee and Mary Ames Lee Professor of Black Studies at Amherst College