ANALYTICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE ATTRIBUTES OF NIGERIAN FOREIGN POLICY TOWARDS THE TRANSFORMATION OF AFRICAN UNION
Keywords:Nigeria, foreign policy, transformation, OAU, AU
The African continent has benefited immensely from Afrocentric nature of Nigerian foreign policy. This has invariably added to the reasons behind the successful transformation of Organization of African Unity (OAU) to African Union (AU). Having checked through the existing literature, it was observed that limited studies were found on Nigerian foreign policy’s contribution towards the transformation of the continental organization in Africa. The study’s findings have revealed the following attributes possessed by Nigerian foreign policy as one of the factors that aided the transformation of the continental organization in Africa. These attributes include: leadership role, economic-existing role, democratic-setting role, peace and security role, population factor, decolonization and anti-apartheid role. As part of the academic contribution of the study to the existing knowledge, the study indicated that Nigeria and its citizens tend to benefit more if its foreign policy tailors in such a way that would have a direct positive impact on Africa as a continent. Thus, the study concludes that Nigeria would have more influence in the continent particularly during decision making on Africa’s matter, if she allows her fellow African countries to benefit from her favourable foreign policy. This study adopts functionalism theory to describe the possibility of mutual benefits when countries come together through functional cooperation to address common issues. This work is a qualitative study that utilizes both primary and secondary sources of data. Eight respondents were interviewed from different Nigerian government parastatals and higher institutions. The interview data was analyzed thematically with the aid of Nvivo-10.
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