Toward a Reform Agenda for the Niger Delta
April 19, 2007
On March 14, 2007, the CSIS Africa Program hosted a conference on the Niger Delta, one in a series of events organized by a consortium of U.S.-based institutions to elevate the focus on Nigeria in the lead-up to and immediately beyond Nigeria's April elections. The sponsoring institutions are CSIS, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Council on Foreign Relations, the U.S. Institute of Peace, Johns Hopkins SAIS, and Northwestern University. The conference began from the premise that the injustices and dangers of the Niger Delta, long neglected, are of rising prominence in Nigeria's national political debates and will inexorably confront the next governing administration in Nigeria as a priority challenge. Specifically, the conference aimed to:
- assess trend lines in the Delta in the lead-up to the April 2007 elections;
- build consensus around dynamic reform prospects that a new Nigerian administration might promote to strategically confront political and criminal violence, corruption, and poverty in the Delta; and
- examine how best the United States should engage a new Nigerian administration to address the Delta's immediate and underlying challenges.
This report summarizes the broad themes and general conclusions of the conference.