Shades of African values and interests in Nigeria’s international relations: investigating the gains and the costs, 1960 – 2014

  • Amaechi Alex Ugwuja

Abstract

Nigeria’s emergence as a player on the international theatre heralded myriad hope for the African continent. Consequently, Nigeria’s debut in the seemingly anarchical international system (I.S) was fastened to a philosophical praxis that centered unmistakably on African interests and values. However, findings in extant literature indicate that Nigeria has not gained commensurably in predisposing her international relations to be conditioned primarily by African interests and values. With the theoretical binoculars of the Constructivist Theory, and adopting the specific cases of Nigeria’s bilateral relations with Angola, South Africa and Ghana, this study investigates the gains and costs of contriving Nigeria’s International Relations (N.I.R) to be essentially based on African values and interests. The paper argues that ‘African values and interests’ as a philosophical praxis may have favoured Nigeria considerably in other domains but not in her International Relations (I.R); as indeed, “she gave and gave and in return got nothing”. The study does not only recommend the pressing need of dismantling, overhauling and reinventing the philosophical foundations of Nigeria’s I.R (as this has been proposed by some extant studies) but also the engagement of policies that ensure that the country recovers all she lost in her years of naivety in I.R. The study adopted the historical methodology which emphasizes critical analyses and interpretation of facts. Data for the study came largely through secondary sources and a few primary sources in the form of Government documents and confidential reports.

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