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“Geopolitics” Assignment

  1. How strong are we? (Top 5, 10, 25, 100? Are we a local power? A continental power? A global power?)
  2. What are our strengths? (Mention especially our strategic resources: food, water, energy and human resources)
  3. What are our weaknesses?
  4. How strong can we be? (What must change to be stronger? E.g. to a geopolitical realist Canada might need more population, where India might need less)
  5. Which states can help us with our weaknesses? (Therefore which sea routes are important to us?)
  6. Which states are our most substantial threats? Which is the most dangerous to us? List and rank three. Remember to consider the geographical distances and geographical obstacles: for example a large ocean or mountain range will in practical terms reduce the threat of a state to your state compared to having a land border on a plain. Remember that
  7. Which states can be our most reliable friends? List and rank three. (Primarily based on similar enemies, or based on those states needing us for something)
    • You will be required to provide a Realist Top Five –point Geopolitical Strategy; Number One being the most important. Justify your order of points and explain each of them(500-1500 words)

**Remember to think as a geopolitical realist–this is the point of the exercise.  Do not include Liberal concerns about the type of government or export growth or W.S.T. concerns about inequality.  This is the world of unforgiving “self-help”, and “my state first”.

Answer:

Country Chosen – Nigeria

a) Nigeria is the most powerful country in the African content. It is the most populous country in Africa and has the biggest economy out of all. It is a local power in Africa and in recent times, has become a center of attraction for all American, Asian, and European governments due to its abundance of energy resources.

b)  The main strengths of Nigeria are :

  • Nigeria is the biggest and wealthiest economy in Africa.
  • It has a diverse cultural population that attracts attention from many international countries.
  • The highest youth population in Africa is in Nigeria.
  • Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa.

The main weaknesses are:

  • In spite of being the largest economy in Africa, almost half the country’s population is still living below the poverty line.
  • Nutrition for kids is a concerning issue all across the country.
  • The country is going through a recession due to falling oil prices post the COVID 19 pandemic
  • Poor governance around oil theft and terrorist attacks.

c) Nigeria could become an extremely strong nation if it can overcome its weaknesses. Under efficient governance, it can compete with the Middle Eastern countries in a global marketplace based upon their abundant natural oil resources. The critical point here is the country’s growth by growing its people is the only way to succeed for a country like Nigeria.

d) Nigeria’s geopolitical relations with China are on the rise as Nigeria needs a country like China to make foreign investments in the country. Today both countries have fair bilateral trade exchanges good for both of them. The United States has started seeking interest in Nigeria recently, and their major interest is monitoring the activities of Chine in the country and exploring the oil possibilities, of course. Nigeria can be benefitted from them both as long as they provide the country with ample development opportunities and helps give youth the skills and employment.

e) Nigeria has most of its enemies with Africa only as South Africa, and Nigeria has disdainful relations since the beginning.

  • Cameroon due to the border issues.
  • The Republic Of Chad due to Boko Haram protests .
  • Algeria is due to its global terrorism center.
f)    Friends and enemies of Nigeria
  • China has always been a friend as they supported Nigeria even when superpowers like the United States entirely neglected it.
  • Since the United States has a strong say in funds released by the World Bank and the global oil market, the US could always be friends.
  • India and Brazil have also been friends for the country as they have continuously created bilateral trade opportunities.
h)   The top five points to outline a strong geopolitical strategy for Nigeria would be below:
  1.  The most important thing Nigeria needs to achieve is to become a “Secure Nation.” The Niger Delta is constantly fighting with oil thefts, kidnappings, and communal rights between various communities. Unless this is resolved, Nigeria cannot think of growth and overcoming the economic challenges that it is facing. Partnership with a country like the United States may help the country fight this. The United States’ highest grants are still issued to Nigeria, and these funds are used in empowering the military and establishing trade between the countries. This enforced military may help restore the security of the nation. If the country is involved in its domestic security issues, it attracts less FDI and international opportunities. Also, for the talent to retain, it creates optimal situations. Today Nigeria is a hub of emerging creators, singers, and authors. However, at the same time, brain drain is a consistent issue, and these artisans move to Canada, America, or other opportunistic countries.
  2. The ‘Gulf of Guinea’ has become extremely important from a strategic perspective since the US declared that twenty-five percent of its reserve would come from here. Nigeria must create transparent policies around oil trading to achieve maximum trade benefits out of it. However, it is a center of attraction for not only America but also French and Asian countries.
  3. For trading with developing countries like India and Brazil, the country uses the strategy correctly. Recently, India and Nigeria have become huge trade partners in the medical and healthcare domain. This is due to expensive healthcare in Europe and America. This model works for both countries and must continue exploring in that dimension. Also, the African market for electronics and metering is a big hub for India and Brazil.
  4. Balancing domestic considerations with international trade benefits must be the vision for Nigeria’s geopolitical strategies. Although China has invested in the country to a large level by means of FDI, Nigeria has not been able to utilize it to create employment for the youth or generating revenues from it by domestically creating a market and create a tax structure around it to grow as a nation and fight poverty and malnutrition of the country.
  5. Terrorism is another important aspect that the country must consider in creating geopolitical strategies. Since the United States claims that Algeria is the place many terrorists from Iraq take refuge, it’s essential for a country like Nigeria’s stand for terrorism of any kind may impact the relationships with all international powers at a go.

As popularly said, Nigeria is the country with ‘Dutch Disease,’ which means the abundance of its resources leads to difficult governance. Many internal issues pose a decline in the economy.

Hence the power lies in removing this resource curse by creating an ecosystem where international trading could be pragmatic and lead to only benefits and upliftment. The geopolitical strategy could be instrumental in achieving these business goals and help Nigeria become the next big African superpower.

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