Dr Francisca Essien, Head of Department
The Department of Area and Regional Studies (DARS) was established to provide specialist knowledge and information to Nigeria’s policy makers on any given area or region of the world on, demand. Nigeria is a regional power in Africa and has eyes set on becoming a major global power. However, this objective and other national interests may remain largely unattainable unless the government is supported by the provision of well researched information from institutions such as the CSRS.
DARS, in keeping with Nigeria’s foreign and defence policy, should provide the inputs required in a timely manner. The framework to be used is that of constructive concentricism which begins with Nigeria’s immediate neighborhood, where information will be acquired on issues relevant to her interests and extending to the other parts of the world. Playing a leadership role in West Africa, gives her an advantage of doing same at the continental as well as the global level. This could be located within the notion of the four concentric circles of national interest. At the core of these circles lies a concern with Nigeria’s own security, predicated on the cultivation of good neighborly relations especially with her immediate neighbors. This is in recognition of the fact that her security is inextricably tied to the security of West Africa, and it is for this reason that the second circle expands to include the whole of West African sub-region. In this regard, Nigeria has demonstrated foresight and ability to project power in seeking to contribute to peaceful resolution of conflict outside her immediate neighborhood.
Nigeria’s firm belief in good neighborliness had motivated her to support democratic efforts in Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, SierraLeone and Liberia.