Geopolitics of Nigeria
Nigeria is located in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. The country’s size is comparable to that of Venezuela, or twice the size of the US state of California. But unlike either of these comparisons, Nigeria’s population level is many times higher. With about 178 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world. However, not all Nigerians speak the same language or share the same ethnicity. An important thing to understand about Nigeria is that it is a multicultural state. There are about 400 different ethnic groups from a number of distinct cultural groups, with the largest being the Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and the Fulani ethnic groups. Nigerian politics has traditionally been managed by these four.
Considering its large population, economy and industrial output, the country is frequently referred to as the ‘Giant of Africa’. Nigeria’s external power project is evident in its economic influence throughout the continent, as Nigerian businessmen are active all over the region. This refers to legal businesses as well as to black market sectors like arms trade, drug trade, human trafficking, business scams, etc. Furthermore, the government in Abuja uses a number of pan-African organizations to bolster its international image as a reliable state and the gateway to Africa. Yet, despite the country’s economic and demographic influence, Nigeria’s foreign policy is significantly restricted due to the country’s domestic politics.
In this analysis we will look at the geopolitics of Nigeria, what shapes its domestic politics and what can we expect for the future of Nigeria.