U.S. Invests $15 Million in Peace Program to Promote Stability in Nigeria

The U.S. invests $15M in Nigeria's peace program, training 46,000+ to resolve conflicts and prevent violence, aiming to address insecurity and strengthen democracy in Africa's largest economy.

Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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U.S. Invests $15 Million in Peace Program to Promote Stability in Nigeria

U.S. Invests $15 Million in Peace Program to Promote Stability in Nigeria

The United States government has invested $15 million in a peace program in Nigeria aimed at promoting stability and conflict resolution in the country. The five-year Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP) program, implemented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with Mercy Corps, focuses on addressing pressing challenges in six states: Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Benue, Kogi, and Plateau.

The program has trained over 46,000 community members, including traditional leaders, women, men, and youth, in skills such as dispute resolution, early warning and response, reconciliation efforts, and prevention of violent extremism. The goal is to empower communities to become designers of their own peace and resilience by providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge to manage tensions and prevent violence.

Why this matters: Nigeria, as Africa's most populous country and largest economy, faces significant challenges, including a weakening economy, rising insecurity, and the need to strengthen its democratic development. The U.S. investment in the peace program aims to address these issues and contribute to the current situation and prosperity of Nigeria, which is crucial for the region and the United States.

The CIPP program has been effective in reducing violent conflict in at-risk communities and involving women and youth in peacebuilding processes. A study showed that violent incidents were 26% lower in CIPP treatment communities compared to control communities. As the program transitions, USAID plans to transfer key community structures, such as Conflict Mitigation Regional Councils and Women Peace Councils, to a new Peace Action for Rapid and Transformative Nigerian Early Response activity, ensuring continuity and sustained progress in promoting peace and security in the region.

The Benue State Governor, represented by his Deputy, emphasized the close relationship between a peaceful society and the delivery of justice, and praised the U.S. government's efforts in deepening democracy and supporting Nigeria. The USAID Mission Director also highlighted the importance of peace-building efforts by political, faith, and traditional leaders to achieve lasting peace in Nigerian communities.

The U.S. investment in the peace program in Nigeria is part of a broader effort to address the root causes of terrorism, such as poverty, inequality, and social injustice, and to strengthen regional cooperation and institution-building to address the evolving threat of terrorism in Africa. The program seeks to establish a regional counter-terrorism center to serve as a hub for intelligence sharing, operational coordination, and capacity-building throughout the African continent, while also emphasizing the importance of involving civil society actors, youth, and women in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. invested $15M in 5-year peace program in 6 Nigerian states to promote stability.
  • Program trained 46,000+ community members in dispute resolution, early warning, and more.
  • Program reduced violent incidents by 26% in treated communities compared to controls.
  • Program aims to strengthen democracy, address terrorism root causes, and promote regional cooperation.
  • Benue governor emphasized link between justice and lasting peace in Nigeria.