Xenophobic Threat to Nigerians Abroad – How Relevant is the Concept of “Afrocentrism”?
Idahosa S.O., Makpah O.J.
The subject of this article is the relevance of Afrocentrism in the view of xenophobic threat to Nigerians abroad. The Afrocentrism in Nigeria’s foreign policy had been successful in both decolonization of Africa and the fight against apartheid in South Africa. However, the attacks on Nigerians abroad continue to question the price that Nigeria has paid in human, capital and material resources in ensuring peace on the continent. The fusion between policy and practice in the articulation and implementation of Nigeria’s foreign policy (often at the expense of its own people) reflects the sacrifices the country has made in its dedication to the continent. The study reveals that the history of Nigeria-Africa relations can be viewed in the light of conflict, cooperation, and competition. The study concludes that the Federal government should come up with policies that would change the current narrative in favour of Nigeria’s national interest vis-a-vis protecting its citizens abroad. It further recommends a number of measures to be taken, such as: sensitization campaign (Nigeria’s missions abroad, in collaboration with the appropriate government agencies of the host country in the hotspot areas in Africa, should periodically carry out sensitization programmes); setting up and strengthening (where it already exists) early warning signal system; using soft power/public diplomacy; using art diplomacy/cultural diplomacy; practicing overseas investment/economic nationalism to protect the country’s economy; prioritizing Nigeria’s foreign policy on regional concern.
Afrocentrism, xenophobia, Nigeria, South Africa, foreign relations
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