The MacArthur Foundation in Nigeria: Report on Activities
November 1, 2006 | Grantee Publications | Higher Education in Russia & Africa, Human Rights, Population & Reproductive Health

 In 1999, after decades of colonial and military rule, Nigeria began a transition to democracy. Government, non-governmental organizations, and individuals are now working together to ensure the growth of a free and fair Nigeria. The MacArthur Foundation is a long-term partner in these efforts.  We have worked in Nigeria for 17 years, making over $68 million in grants to support its future.

The MacArthur Foundation does not embrace any ideology other than a commitment to free expression and reasoned discourse. Wherever we work, we try to give good, smart people the chance to exercise their talents and apply their ideals to the benefit of society.  

Our work in Nigeria falls into three main categories:  

  • strengthening Nigerian universities;
  • improving the sexual and reproductive health of women and adolescents; and
  • advancing human rights and the rule of law.   

The primary purpose of our grantmaking is to en- able local citizens and organizations to help shape Nigeria's democratic future.  Members of our Abuja office staff are all Nigerians and are deeply committed to their country. Through our grants, we seek to demonstrate the possibilities for meaningful partnerships among the growing community of non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and public institutions. We are pleased to present this report, which describes MacArthur's programs in Nigeria and lists the organizations that are currently receiving our financial support.  

During my seven years as President, I have vis- ited Nigeria five times. On each visit, I have been impressed by the tremendous progress underway. That is not to underestimate the challenges ahead, which are serious and daunting. But I believe there is reason for optimism given the energy and commitment I have seen among people across the country, people addressing Nigeria's challenges directly and working for a better future.

Central to our involvement in Nigeria is an ongoing dialogue with its citizens. We welcome your comments and questions, which can be sent to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Jonathan F. Fanton


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