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Introduction: British influence and control over what would become Nigeria and Africa's most populous country grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy; independence came in 1960. Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The government continues to face the daunting task of reforming a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, Nigeria continues to experience longstanding ethnic and...

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Economic Overview: Nigeria's economic development has been uneven. Despite the country's substantial oil wealth, corruption remains a problem and poverty is widespread. Nigeria has the second highest GDP in Africa (US$166.78 billion in 2007), but it ranks poorly on the United Nations' Human Development Index, which measures countries' levels of development (Nigeria is ranked 158 out of 177 in the world, and 32 out of 51 African countries). However, macro-economic reforms have produced some positive results. GDP growth will be driven by the oil and gas sector for the foreseeable future, however increasing instability in the Niger Delta region, and trade in ...

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History: In the northern cities of Kano and Katsina, recorded history dates back to about 1000 AD. In the centuries that followed, these Hausa kingdoms and the Bornu empire near Lake Chad prospered as important terminals of north-south trade between North African Berbers and forest people who exchanged slaves, ivory, and kola nuts for salt, glass beads, coral, cloth, weapons, brass rods, and cowrie shells ...

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International Relations: Nigeria is the predominant power in West Africa. It was instrumental in the creation of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) in 1975. Under the ECOWAS umbrella, Nigeria has taken the lead in conflict resolution in several West African civil wars, putting troops into Liberia (twice) and Sierra Leone. Nigeria has also played an important role in other conflicts, most recently in Sudan, Sao Tome, and Cote d'Ivoire. Nigerian peacekeeping troops are currently stationed in Darfur as part of the African Union mission, and Nigeria is – globally – the fourth largest contributor to peacekeeping operations..

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All evidence suggests the early settlement of Nigeria millennia before the spread of agriculture 3,000 years ago, and one day it probably will be possible to reconstruct the high points of this early history. Although archaeological research has made great strides in identifying some major developments, comparatively little archaeological work has been undertaken. Consequently, it is possible ...

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