Unfortunately, there still exist, a huge gap in Nigeria’s foreign policy, especially as it relates to youth and gender perspectives. Despite being a signatory to various global youth and gender agreements, it is unclear how the government engages or intends to engage the largest demography of its population: young people. While the government boasts of its “Nigeria first” foreign policy, the interest of young people remains missing in its external relations.
The Nigerian foreign policy has experienced a series of transformations over the years, experiencing a paradigm shift from Africa as its centre piece to focusing on Nigeria’s national interest. Despite several failed promises from policymakers, Nigeria’s foreign interactions over the years have failed to represent the national interest of the country. From unfavourable foreign trade policies to arbitrary shutting down of land borders; from poor consular services to denigrating international image; from increasing debt profile to poor diplomatic relations - Nigeria’s foreign relation is in an abysmal state, with little or no direction. Sadly, events in recent years have shown gross mismatch between Nigeria’s foreign policy and its national interest, further putting citizens in vulnerable situation.
It was against this backdrop that Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Nigeria in collaboration with Youth Professionals in Policy and Development (YouPAD), organized a dialogue session to explore Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives, with specific focus on youth and gender perspectives. This dialogue session identified and evaluated the current gaps in Nigeria’s foreign policy, especially as the affect youth and women demographies.
The session also provided practical policy recommendations that experts say would help mainstream youth and gender perspectives into Nigeria’s foreign policy and its external relations. The outcome report will be shared with policy makers and relevant stakeholders.
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