The crisis in the Niger Delta is a source of growing political, economic, environmental and security concerns. Nigeria is pivotal to political stability in the West African region, as well as being the third largest oil exporter to the United States, raising the stakes of ongoing struggles between local militias, international oil companies and the Nigerian state. With the recent amnesty in the Delta beginning to unravel, and a crisis of succession within the Nigerian state, there is an urgent need to address the situation. A panel of experts will examine the complex events in the Niger Delta, looking at the politics of the conflict, and the role of oil companies and local militants in recent developments. The panelists will discuss whether the Nigerian state itself is part of the problem or part of the solution; and the relative importance of the international/global community in working to resolve the conflict.
Abiodun Alao is a Senior Research Fellow at the Conflict Security and Development Group King’s College London. His current research interest is on the Politics of Natural Resource Conflict in Africa and his latest book on the subject is The Tragedy of Endowment: Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa.
Dauda Garuba is Nigeria Program Coordinator for the Revenue Watch Institute, working to support civil society in the Niger Delta, as well as working with local officials to provide technical assistance and coordination for the Bayelsa Expenditure and Income Transparency Initiative (BEITI). He is co-author of Democracy, Oil and Politics in the Niger Delta: Linking Citizens' Perception with Policy Reform (2007).
Ed Kashi is an independent documentary photographer, film maker and educator based in the New York area. Kashi has published six books, including Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta. He has received numerous awards and his work is published and exhibited extensively worldwide.
Michael Peel is the Legal correspondent for the Financial Times, and was their West Africa correspondent from 2002-2005. He is the author of a recent book on the Niger Delta, A Swamp Full of Dollars: Pipelines and Paramilitaries at Nigeria's Oil Frontier.
Dimieari Von Kemedi is Director-General of the Due Process and e-Governance Bureau of Bayelsa State, Nigeria and also serves as chairman of the Baylesa State Expenditure and Transparency Initiative. He has worked on numerous projects related to community development and conflict transformation in the Niger Delta, and has worked extensively with youth groups and civic organizations across the region.
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