Regional Hegemony and Leadership Space in Africa: Assessing Nigeria’s Prospects and Challenges
Jude Odigbo, Joseph Effiong Udaw, Adaona Frank Igwe

Nigeria’s claim to regional primacy is derived from her strategic location and resource endowment. Her continental engagements and efforts towards peace and stability in Africa seemed to have brightened her position as a pivotal state on the continent. This paper examined Nigeria’s role in Africa especially her effort in crisis management vis a vis peace keeping interventions and her capacity to ascend leadership position in Africa. It critically looked at her foreign policy adventures over the years since her return to democracy. The paper observed that Nigeria’s foreign relation modalities since her return to civil rule over a decade has depreciated her global stature. It argued that in spite of Nigeria’s regional efforts, incessant domestic instability has contributed to gross underutilization of Nigeria’s natural potentials to emerge a regional leader in Africa. The paper concluded that Nigeria’s leadership prospects in Africa will depend on the management of her internal socio-political and economic challenges. The study adopted hegemonic theory of state. While relying on sequential technique of qualitative research, the study recommended good governance as an antidote to numerous development setbacks and as a requisite determinant for regional leadership for Nigeria.

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