The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Nigeria votes: That's how important the largest democratic election on the African continent is for Europe


Africa's largest democracy elects a new president. The outcome of the election is considered forward-looking. Not just for Nigeria, but for the African Union - and the entire world.

Africa's largest democracy elects a new president.

The outcome of the election is considered forward-looking.

Not just for Nigeria, but for the African Union - and the entire world.

Abuja – A fateful election will take place this Saturday in Nigeria.

The “Giant of Africa” is electing a new President to succeed the outgoing Muhammadu Buhari.

These are the largest democratic elections that have ever taken place on the African continent.

Almost half of Nigeria's approximately 90 million voters are under the age of 35.

A historic event that receives little attention in Europe.

The outcome is immensely important from a geopolitical and economic point of view.

The country is already the most populous country in Africa.

And UN projections predict that by 2050 Nigeria will be the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.

It is also Africa's largest economy and the largest producer of petroleum.

Nigeria, the name stands for superlatives.

The result of the election will therefore have an impact on the entire African Union - and therefore on the world.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) knows this, too. Shortly before her visit to Nigeria in December last year, she announced: "We want to work more closely with this important partner." Nigeria is already Germany's second most important trading partner in Africa.

But the elections are not taking place in peaceful times.

Nigeria is marked by various crises.

Above all, the country is burdened by religious tensions between the predominantly Muslim north and the Christian south.

A later run-off election and unrest are possible.

Nigeria is at a turning point and it's still unclear which candidate has the best chance of winning.

Nigeria election: a fateful choice in West Africa – the outcome decides the future of the young population

The initial situation is quite precarious.

The security situation in Nigeria has been precarious for years, corruption is rampant, cash is scarce and the Islamist militia Boko Haram is terrorizing people in the north-east of the country.

Poverty is also growing rapidly and youth unemployment is high.

In a survey by the opinion research institute Afrobarometer, nine out of ten Nigerians said that the country was developing in the wrong direction.

A call to Marija Peran.

The head of the foreign office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Nigeria is so stressed shortly before the elections.

She has been living in Abuja, the country's capital, for two years.

"Nigerians feel that the next president will play a crucial role in which path the country takes - whether it destabilizes further or emerges from distress," Peran told IPPEN.MEDIA





This is also relevant for the entire continent.

“Nigeria is an important anchor of stability in West Africa.

There have been many military coups there in recent years, and there is great instability.

If a country the size of Nigeria remains stable, that is an important harbinger of overall stability in the region,” she explains.

At the same time, however, this means that if Nigeria destabilizes further, this could trigger a negative domino effect.

But who could stabilize Nigeria?

The profile of the three most promising candidates is ambiguous.

Everyone is focusing on the urgent issues of security, fighting corruption and economic development.

But they still owe concrete measures and proposed solutions, says Marija Peran.

However, Peter Obi of the Labor Party (LP) is regarded as the beacon of hope for young people.

At 61, he is the youngest candidate, his supporters call themselves "Obitiens".

He presents himself as a reformer and knows how to use social media for himself.

“Peter Obi has managed to break up the two-party system that has existed since democratization.

It is the first time in 24 years of democracy that there are three candidates in the running for the presidency,” Peran explains.

However, he is not considered a heavyweight either politically or financially – unlike his competitors, 70-year-old Bola Tinubu from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party and 76-year-old Atiku Abubakar from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

There are tangible corruption scandals sticking to both of them.

Presidential election in Nigeria: That's how important Africa's largest democratic election is for Europe

The outcome of the election in Nigeria is also important for the European Union.

"Nigeria is of strategic interest simply because of its sheer size, especially since geopolitical rivalries are taking place on the African continent," stresses Marija Peran.

"In addition, Nigeria is Africa's largest democracy and an important partner and ally of Europe." A geopolitical tug-of-war between China, Russia and the USA is already raging on the African continent.

China in particular has continued to expand its influence on Africa in recent years.

But the West is actually urgently dependent on a regionally strong ally like Nigeria.

Also economical.

"Nigeria is a regional giant in terms of financial and economic policy and is therefore important for the economic and sustainable development of the region," says Peran.

“It is a growing future market with a lot of potential, especially in the energy sector.

According to some experts, also with a view to green hydrogen.

However, should the country continue to destabilize and have an impact on neighboring countries, then Europe as a neighboring continent would be confronted with larger flows of refugees and migrants.” The head of the foreign office in Nigeria is convinced: “Africa is the continent of the future that cannot be ignored any longer countries like China have understood this for a long time.

Europe is still there

to realize that.

Not least because of that we should be looking at Nigeria on Saturday.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-02-27

You may like

News/Politics 2023-01-13T12:26:49.560Z

Trends 24h

News/Politics 2023-06-05T20:51:58.429Z
News/Politics 2023-06-06T05:51:51.763Z
News/Politics 2023-06-06T02:51:17.787Z
News/Politics 2023-06-06T12:32:52.829Z


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.