On the heels of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the United States, Energy & Environment Program Associate Director Mihaela Carstei joins CTV to discuss the Keystone Pipeline project that would transport tar sands oil from Canada and the northern United States to refineries in the Gulf coast of Texas.
On April 19, the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, in partnership with Africare and Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for International Policy and Innovation (CIPI), hosted a discussion on the recent Nigerian elections and their implications on the future stability of the nation and region. Ambassador Jendayi Frazer, Director of CIPI and former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, introduced the session’s moderator Ambassador Robin Sanders, International Affairs Advisor to Africare and former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria. Ambassador Sanders opened the session describing the parliamentary and presidential elections as the most credible ones to have taken place in the country’s democratic history. Panelists Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Ansari Center, Reno Omokri, and Dr. Gwendolyn Mikell of Georgetown University echoed the Ambassador’s sentiment, highlighting the role that youth, social media, and women played in ensuring that the electoral process was transparent. With the widespread use of mobile phones and internet usage, voters were able to instantly report the results of their respective polling stations and incidences of ballot rigging. While the majority of the panel was enthusiastic about the progress that Nigeria had made, former Nigerian minister Nasir El-Rufai cautioned Nigerians and the international community against branding the elections as free and fair. Although they may have appeared successful from the international community’s point of view, El-Rufai called for greater action to be taken against the frequent occurrence of human interference with the counting process.
The hero at the end of the day was the ordinary Nigerian citizen, who according to those who observed the elections, refused to tolerate yet another illegitimate election. Despite its achievement, Nigeria still has a long road ahead, marred by recent political violence in the North, and President Goodluck Jonathan now has the great task of pulling together a divided nation into a coalition. Participants and panelists called for a peaceful solution to the current crises, cooperation among political parties, and greater efforts to ensure the upcoming gubernatorial elections are even more transparent.
Two distinguished members of the audience, H.E. Ade Adefuye, Ambassador of Nigeria to the United States, and Oronto Douglas, Senior Special Assistant to President Jonathan, also briefly addressed the audience.
Introductory Remarks by
Ambassador Jendayi Frazer
Distinguished Public Service Professor, Director, Center for International Policy and Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University
H.E. Nasir El-Rufai
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
Dr. Gwendolyn Mikell
Professor of Anthropology and Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Dr. J. Peter Pham
Director, Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, Atlantic Council
Mr. Reno Omokri
Founder, Build Up Nigeria Project
Ambassador Robin Sanders
International Affairs Advisor, Africare
Audio (.mp3, 1:58:00)
Trackback URL for this post:
On May 22, the Atlantic Council's Cyber Statecraft Initiative will hold a discussion on the history of cyber critical infrastructure protection in recognition of the 15th anniversary of Presidential Decision Directive 63 (PDD-63).
On May 30, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will release a new issue brief, The Kaleidoscope Turns Again in a Crisis-Challenged Iran, a discussion of Iran’s upcoming presidential elections.
From June 13-14, the 2013 Wrocław Global Forum will bring together over 350 top policy-makers and business leaders to explore the region’s impact as an actor in Europe, as well as its crucial role in the transatlantic partnership and on the global stage.