Speeches Shim

1999 - 2002


The sudden death in June 1998 of Nigeria’s military head of state, Sani Abacha, and his successor’s unexpected transfer of power to a civilian government set off a much anticipated democratic transition in Africa’s most populous country. Working in concert with other parts of USAID and the U.S. Government, USAID/OTI placed initial priority on sustaining the momentum toward the re-establishment of civilian democratic rule. Once President Olusegun Obasanjo was inaugurated in May 1999, USAID/OTI initiated a nationwide good governance program.


To sustain a peaceful transition toward national reconciliation and democracy, USAID/OTI’s Nigeria program focused on:

  • Supporting civil society efforts to mitigate conflict;
  • Promoting development of a conflict management infrastructure; and
  • Encouraging reform of the national police.


  • Conflict management: USAID/OTI sponsored a nationwide training program with special emphasis on the north, the Niger Delta and other conflict-prone areas. The program included a broad-based conflict assessment review and helped strengthen local groups involved in conflict management.
  • Civilian-military relations/police reform: USAID/OTI was instrumental in jump-starting comprehensive reform efforts in civilian-military relations while strengthening relations at the local level. USAID/OTI also worked with other U.S. Government agencies and international donors to help the Government of Nigeria develop a strategy for reforming the civilian police force, an important step in enhancing citizen security.
  • Media and civil society support: USAID/OTI focused resources on local civil society groups who were mobilized to engage the Nigerian people on key transition issues as well as on anti-corruption and good governance. USAID/OTI also supported activities that enhanced media coverage of these issues by promoting an ethical, balanced and responsive media and by providing training and technical assistance. USAID/OTI's local partners were encouraged to use the media to enhance public awareness by critically analyzing issues and engaging in dialogue with their elected officials.
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