Nigeria has yet been put on the limelight following an assignment the prestigious American university, Harvard, reportedly gave to its students asking them to explore the reasons why Africa’s most populous country failed to thrive between 1960 and 1999.
The assignment, which describes Nigeria as epitomizing ‘both the promise and the problems’ Africa faces in the 21st century, also tasks the student to evaluate the legacy of former president Olusegun Obasanjo and predict how the country will fair in the next fifteen years.
The reads: "Africa is growing. Seven of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, and the continent’s largest economies are becoming less dependent on extractive commodities. The continent’s rising middle class has demonstrated a taste for consumer goods and technological innovation, and Africa’s population-currently more than a billion people- is booming and overwhelmingly young at a time when populations in other regions are shrinking and aging.
"Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy, epitomizes both the promise and the problems the continent faces in the 21st century. The country had failed to thrive for its first thirty years as an independent nation, despite having a developmental head start relative to countries like China and India, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars in oil revenue. Now, after path-breaking reforms followed by signs of retrenchment, Nigeria’s new President faced both vast opportunity and grave challenges. Would the country flourish or founder in this new era? We will analyze key reforms in Nigeria’s economy, significant political developments, and the choices facing the country’s fast-growing private sector."
1. Why did Nigeria fail to thrive between 1960 and 1999, particularly relative to China and India?
2. How would you characterize former President Obasanjo’s legacy?
3. Are you bullish or bearish on the next fifteen years for Nigeria? What would make you change your mind? What opportunities do you see? What are the challenges (and risks)
While this is basically an academic study, many people have reacted to the question, saying that with the assignment, the university has just used Nigeria as a case study of a failed African country.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is making progress in the aspect of the economy. He commended President Buhari on the growth recorded in the economy sector and called for more focus.
She also called for more development in the education sector and said they would continue to support Nigeria especially in the fight against terrorism.
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