Cooperation and Discord in Nigeria-Zimbabwe Relations, 1980 - 2015
This paper discusses the Nigeria-Zimbabwe relations, 1980-2015 from the context of cooperation and discord in their relations. Nigeria played a central role in the independence struggle of Zimbabwe and this provided the background to the establishment of cooperation and cordial relations shortly after the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980. Relations between both countries were largely cordial in the 1980s, but discord began to manifest from the late 1990s onwards. The paper explores factors that have promoted cooperation and those that have created the condition for discord. The study is situated within the context of the dynamism in the conduct of relations among countries. It utilises primary and secondary sources gathered from Nigeria and Zimbabwe. The paper is organised thematically and chronologically. It argues that cordial relations between Nigeria and Zimbabwe from 1980 to early 1990s were occasioned by shared values embedded in “pan-Africanism” and that leadership style, leadership personality and domestic exigencies created the condition for discord from the late 1990s onward. It also posits that although Nigeria made huge sacrifices in the Zimbabwean independence struggle, yet interactions have not been as friendly as expected. It recommends that both countries need to focus on areas of common interest to enhance cordial relations.
Keywords: Collaboration, Discord, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Bilateral relations.