Deborah Oluwamayowa Ogabi, Sheriff Folami Folarin


The paper examined the silent, but sometimes overt contest between Nigeria and France for hegemony and control in West Africa, and also identified the threats and opportunities that may be accrued to regional hegemony in West Africa. With the several interventions of Nigeria in West Africa, Nigeria remains an important regional player in the sub-region, thereby justifying the opportunities the country benefits from, in the course of its hegemonic adventures. The Classical Realism theory was adapted to the study in order to situate the role of national interests in the spectrum of inter-state relations. Data were gathered from existing literature, while analysis was done using textual methods. There is a strong belief that Francophone West African countries are tied to the apron-strings of their colonial masters, making it difficult for them to completely detach from such foreign influence and which Nigeria finds difficult to break in its quest to gain more influence in the region. The research concludes that the attainment of power attributes and regional acceptance can only be possible when Nigeria builds itself to an extent that it would be given proper recognition in the global system, through its constant focus on internal issues.


France, Nigeria, Opportunity, Regional Hegemony, Threat, West Africa

Full Text:



Adetula, V.O. (2014). Nigeria and Her Neighbours: Burden and Blessings of Geography. University of Jos Inaugural Lecture Series 60, 1-74.

Akinterinwa, B.A. (1999). Nigeria and France, 1960-1995: The Dilemma of Thirty-five Years of Relationship. Ibadan: Vantage Publishers.

Albert, I.O. (2017). Rethinking the Functionality of the Multinational Joint Task Force in Managing the Boko Haram Crisis in the Lake Chad Basin. Africa Development, 42(3), 119-135.

Bach, D.C. (1979). Relations between Nigeria, France and Selected Francophone States in West Africa (1960-1975) (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Oxford).

Bach, D. (1980). Le général de Gaulle et la guerre civile au Nigeria. Canadian Journal of African Studies, 14 (2).

Bach, D.C. (2010). Nigeria: Called to Hegemony. No. 51, pp. 8. Retrieved September 22, 2017 from

Benneyworth, I.J. (2011). The Ongoing Relationship between France and its Former African Colonies. E-International Relations, Retrieved June 8, 2017 from

Boukhars, A. (2017). Overcoming the Barriers to Regional Security Cooperation in West Africa and the Sahel. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Retrieved January 30, 2018 from

Chidozie, F. & Abiodun-Eniayekan, E.N. (2015). ECOWAS and the New Scramble for Africa: Interrogating the Francophone/Anglophone Dynamics. Journal of International Politics and Development, 13(1).

Destradi, S. (2010). Regional Powers and Their Strategies: Empire, Hegemony, and Leadership. Review of International Studies, 36(4), 903-930.

Dorff, R.H. (2004). Some Basic Concepts and Approaches in the Study of International Relations. In J.B. Bartholomees (Ed.), U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy (pp. 1-11). U.S. Army War College: Strategic Studies Institute.

Enor, F. & Chime, J. (2015). Promoting Good Neighbourliness and the National Security Implications: The Loss of Bakassi Peninsular to Cameroun. International Journal of International Relations, Media and Mass Communication Studies, 1(4), 1-9.

Folarin, S.F. (2010). National Role Conceptions and Nigeria’s African Policy, 1985-2007 (Doctoral Dissertation, Covenant University).

Folarin, S.F. (2012). Introduction to International Relations. In R. Ajayi & Y. Fasagba (eds.), Introductory Text in Political Science (pp. 1-12). Omuaran: Landmark University.

Folarin, S.F., Folarin, O. & Olorunyomi, B.R. (2015). Reconciling the two West Africas: Managing Ethnic and Lingual Diversity for Regional Integration. Ante Portas nad Bezpiezenstwem, 2(5), 79-193.

George, P.M. (2012). The Libyan Crisis and the Western Sahel: Emerging Security Issues. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Retrieved January 31, 2018 from

Ifedayo, T.E. (2013). Nigeria’s Security Interest in West Africa: A Critical Analysis. Journal of Research and Development, 1(6), 41-49.

Iliffe, J. (2007). Africans: The History of a Continent. Cambridge: Cambridge University.

Ngugi, F. (2017, April 13). Are Francophone, Anglophone Countries the Next Big Fault Line in Africa? Retrieved January 30, 2018 from

Odigbo, J. Udaw, J.E. & Igwe, A.F. (2014). Regional Hegemony and Leadership Space in Africa: Assessing Nigeria’s Prospects and Challenges. American Research Institute for Policy Development, 2(1), 89-105.

Ogunnubi, O. (2014). Hegemonic Order and Regional Stability in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Study of Nigeria and South Africa. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation.

Ogunnubi, O. & Okeke-Uzodike, U. (2016). Can Nigeria be Africa’s Hegemon? African Security Review, 25(2), 110-128. Doi: 10.1080/10246029.2016.1147473

Ola, T.P. (2017). Nigeria’s Assistance to African states: What are the benefits? International Journal of Development and Sustainability, 6(2), 54-65.

Pogoson, A.I. (2009). New Dimensions in Nigeria’s Foreign Policy, 1999–2009. Journal of African Culture and Civilization, 2, 58-73.

Prys, M. (2010). Hegemony, Domination, Detachment: Differences in Regional Powerhood. International Studies Review, 12(4), 479-504.

Siradag, A. (2012). EU-AU Strategic Partnership on Security: The Case of Africa (pp. 270-272). USA: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Slaughter, A.M. (2011). International Relations, Principal Theories. Retrieved from

Touati, S. (2007). French Foreign Policy in Africa: Between Pré Carré and Multilateralism. The Royal Institute of International Affairs. Pp. 1-22, Chatam House Briefing Papers.

Zakaria, H.D. (2011). Sub Regional Hegemony: A Critical Assessment of Nigeria’s Position in West Africa (Masters Dissertation, Zaria: Ahmadu Bello University).


  • There are currently no refbacks.





ISSN (Print): 2276-8645





Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.