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Historic Diaspora Influence: Amb. Carson's Meets 10 Nigerian Governors

In a recent strategic panel discussion moderated by Ambassador Johnnie Carson at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), ten northern Nigerian governors gathered to share their insights and challenges. The dialogue, aimed at fostering partnership and cooperation, highlighted the complexities of the security situation in northern Nigeria.

Ambassador Carson, a senior advisor at the Africa Center and former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, emphasized the significance of Nigeria as Africa's most important country, not only because of its sizeable population and economy but also due to its vibrant democracy and entrepreneurial spirit.

The conversation delved into the historical context of U.S.-Nigeria relations, particularly in addressing stability in the region. Ambassador Carson recalled the upsurge in violence initiated by Boko Haram around 2009, which has since plagued the northeastern part of the country with bombings, kidnappings, and attacks on various institutions.

In an exclusive interview with Premium Times, Ambassador Carson shared insights on the discussions with the governors and how to tackle the insecurity bedeviling Nigeria. He highlighted the importance of understanding the problem's origins and the challenges faced by citizens and government officials in the region¹.

A decade ago, starting in 2014 and again in 2016, Ambassador Carson helped bring northern Nigerian governors to Washington. They shared their challenges with officials and researchers at USIP and around Washington, opening opportunities for partnership and cooperation. This tradition continued with the recent invitation extended to governors from Northwestern Nigeria and the Middle Belt, fostering a two-and-a-half-day exchange of experiences.

Ambassador Carson's efforts underscore the importance of communication and shared experiences in building pathways toward stability and security.

The narrative of partnership and progress between Nigeria and the United States is further enriched by the contributions of the African American diaspora. This vibrant community, which includes descendants of enslaved Africans and nearly two million African immigrants, has been instrumental in America's growth and prosperity. Their close familial, social, and economic ties to the continent have made them a formidable force in fostering development and understanding across the Atlantic.

The establishment of the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States (PAC-ADE) is a testament to their influence and the recognition of their vital role in shaping policies that advance equity and opportunity for diaspora communities. As we spotlight the dialogue between Nigerian governors and U.S. officials, we also celebrate the African American diaspora's enduring legacy and its pivotal role in strengthening the bonds between these two great nations.



(1) INTERVIEW: What we discussed with northern Nigerian governors who ....



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