Relations between Nigeria, France and selected francophone states in West Africa, 1960-1975
The thesis is concerned with the emergence of Nigeria as a regional power since 1966, through a study of political ' relations between Nigeria, France and selected francophone West African states between 1960 and 1975 - Ivory Coast, Niger and Dahomey. Until 1966, Nigeria's policy substantially contributed to the preservation of francophone influence in West Africa. The first change in Nigeria's relationship with its neighbours was prompted by its disagreements with. Ivory Coast during the Nigerian civil war. Subsequently, Nigerian influence spread into francophone West Africa at the expense of that of Ivory Coast, a change stimulated by shifts in France's policy towards Africa. The study concludes with the climax of this evolution, Nigeria's successful creation of the Economic Community of West African States in May 1975. This is seen as the embodiment of Nigeria's emergence as an active West African power, along with its corollary, the weakening of the historic francophone-anglophone division. The study of Nigeria's changing relations with Ivory Coast in brought into sharper perspective by the inclusion of Dahomey and Niger into the analysis. Indeed, these two countries were closely bound to Nigeria in a subordinate relationship through unequal economic and social ties. Furthermore, they belonged to the core of the francophone group in Africa, for here were two of those states which, under the leadership of Ivory Coast, retained the closest links with France at the time, of their independence in 1960.