Regional political risk analysis: The conflict in the Niger Delta and its impact on the political risk of the Gulf of Guinea

Bischoff, Emil Gottfried (2010-03)

Thesis (MA (Political Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Nigeria’s ability to play a regional stabilizing role in the Gulf of Guinea is severely thwarted due to unresolved conflict in the Niger Delta. Stemming from agitation by local communities, it evolved from peaceful rallies into an armed insurgency with the youth as the vanguard, and the conflict has subsequently spread into neighbouring countries like Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Benin. The aim of this study was to analyse the conflict in the Niger Delta, southern Nigeria in order to assess its impact on the political risk of the Gulf of Guinea. Taking the form of a political risk analysis, a means of forecasting potential pitfalls for an investing client to mitigate or manage risk, the study postulated that a country specific risk analysis would not be sufficient to analyse an integrated system like the Gulf of Guinea. Many scholars have suggested that regional analysis has become more important than national. In the context of Africa contagion effects, the spill over, positive as well as negative from one country to another, casts doubt on the value of assessing only a country specific risk analysis. Taking this phenomenon into account, a regional risk index was created in order to assess the regional implications of the conflict in the Niger Delta. The index consists of six variables chosen from four political risk frameworks, namely the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Business Environment Risk Intelligence, The Brink Model, and finally the International Country Risk Guide. The variables were chosen on their utility for regional political risk analysis and their status as major risk variables, universal risk variables employed by various risk frameworks. In the subsequent political risk analysis, the first four variables were rated as having a high risk while the latter two garnered a medium risk rating. As such the overall rating for the political risk of the Gulf of Guinea was found to be high. This study finds that conventional country specific risk models are still very much the preferred means of analysing risk, but that regional risk analysis would have to take a larger role in political risk analysis in the future.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Nigerië se vermoë om ‘n streeks-stabiliserende rol in die Golf van Guinea te speel, word ernstig gedwarsboom deur die onopgeloste konflik in die Niger Delta. Die oorsprong van die konflik in vreedsame gemeenskaplike protestaksie vir meer regverdige verdeling van olie inkomste het uitgekring na gewapende konflik, beide in die Delta self en in buurlande Kameroen, Ekwatoriale Guinee en Benin. Hierdie studie het gepoog om die konflik in die Nigeriese Delta te bestudeer om die impak van politieke risiko op die Golf van Guinea te assesseer. Die studie het die vorm van ‘n politieke risiko analise aangeneem, ‘n middel van vooruitskatting om potensiële valstrikke aan ‘n kliënt wat wil belê uit te wys om sodoende konflik te verlig of te beheer. Die studie veronderstel dat ‘n landspesifieke konflik analise onvoldoende is om ‘n geïntegreerde sisteem soos die Golf van Guinea te analiseer. Met menige akademici wat voorstel dat streeksanalise belangriker geword het as die nasionale, word daar in die konteks van die gevolge van Afrika-besmetting, die oorloop daarvan van een land na ‘n ander, positief sowel as negatief, ‘n skaduwee gegooi op die waarde van die assessering van slegs ‘n landspesifieke konflik analise. Met hierdie fenomeen in gedagte, is ‘n streek risiko inhoud geskep om die implikasies vir die konflik in die Niger Deltastreek, te assesseer. Die inhoud is saamgestel uit ‘n verskeidenheid van ses variante gekies uit vier politieke risiko raamwerke, nl die ‘Ekonomist Intelligence Unit’, die ‘Business Environment Risk Intelligence’, die ‘Brink Model’ en ook die ‘International Country Risk Guide’. Die variante is gebruik vir hulle waarde vir streekspolitieke risiko analise, asook die belangrikheid van hulle hoof risiko veranderlikheid, ‘n universele Hoof risiko variant wat gebruik word in verskillende risiko raamwerke. In die gevolglike politieke risiko-analise, is die vier variante beskou as ‘n baie hoë risiko, terwyl die laaste twee as medium risiko beskou word. Dus is die algemene taksering vir die politiese risiko in die Golf van Guinea baie hoog. Die studie vind uiteindelik dat lande se spesifieke risiko modelle steeds die verkose manier is om risiko’s te analiseer, alhoewel politieke risiko analise ‘n groter rol sal speel in toekomstige streek risiko analise.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4138
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