The Africa Programme carries out policy-focused research and events to inform decision-making on what is among the most strategically important countries in Africa.

Research on Nigeria and its regional and international relations has been central to the work of the Africa Programme since its inception. The body of work and network of expertise make it a unique centre for world-leading, independent policy research on Nigeria. 

With Nigeria marking 20 years of civilian rule in 2019, national and international focus must be sustained on the processes, institutions and actors that will help to consolidate democracy and improve accountable governance.

In addition to publications on elections in Nigeria, expert speakers have included Idayat Hassan of the Centre for Democracy and Development, Oge Onubogu of the United States Institute of Peace, and Samson Itodo of the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement.

Research has been published on the drivers and consequences of unrecorded tradesocial norms of corruption and how to instigate a broad-based anticorruption effort, crude oil theft, the Boko Haram crisispower and politics in northern Nigeria and the domestic context of elections and the status of international partnerships.

The Africa Programme’s ‘Next Generation Nigeria’ series seeks to open up the debate around restructuring with more nuanced and balanced information. Speakers in the series have included HE Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, former Vice President HE Atiku Abubakar, and Dr Oby Ezekwesili, 2019 presidential candidate for the Allied Congress Party.

The programme has hosted events with such figures as then-presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Central bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Governor of Rivers State Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, among other government, opposition and civil society speakers.

This range of outputs provides a unique platform to offer a neutral forum for debate and discussion on this complex country to a diverse network of decision-makers.

The programme also provides administrative and research support to the British All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria.

The latest report, Human Trafficking Between Nigeria and the UK: Addressing a Shared Challenge(opens in new window), examines the APPG findings from a visit in February 2018, which observed initiatives designed to combat human trafficking from Nigeria to the UK and explored areas of current and potential cooperation.

Research areas 

  • Understanding power and leadership dynamics in northern Nigeria
  • Demographics, youth and electoral participation
  • Economic growth, oil and diversification
  • Security and humanitarian challenges in Nigeria
  • Trade and regional dynamics
  • Corruption, behaviour and organized crime 
  • Understanding prospects for reform and improved governance