IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Non State Actors under the current ACP-EU cooperation agreement: A sectoral review of the Nigerian Context


  • Bruno Venditto


  • Biodun Oguyeni

    (Olabisi Onabanjo University)

  • Sheriffdeen Tella

    (Olabisi Onabanjo University)


The concept of Non-State Actors (NSAs) is relatively new within the parlance of civil society organisations (CSOs) or Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) connotations. The term NSA emerged from the 2000 Cotonou Agreement which regulates the cooperation mechanism between the two groups of countries as it tries to expand the scope of coverage of definitions of CSOs and/or NGOs. Within this context, the place of NSAs in the socio-economic and political transformation of post-military Nigeria as from 1999 has become an issue of public discourse. On the one hand, government is wont to suspect the genuine intensions of civil CSOs whose claim to legitimacy looks tenuous in view of reported lack of transparency, accountability and internal democracy. On the other, the civil society groups accuse government of “hidden agenda” by surreptitiously excluding them from active involvement in development policy initiation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The need for partnership between the civil society and government is however underscored in various international instruments to which Nigeria subscribes. These include the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and the Cotonou Agreement of 2000. A pattern of tripartite cooperation among the government, external development-support funding agencies such as World Bank and the European Commission is evident in the emerging trends. However, without adequate capacity for constructive engagement of state actors and appreciable resources for collaborative initiatives, it is apparent that little or no success would come out of ongoing efforts to make NSAs critical partners in the development process. Broadly, this paper sets out to provide a sectoral study on the NSAs in Nigeria. This paper traces the emergence of NSAs as the broadening of sphere of civil society partnering with state actors within the particular framework of the Cotonou Agreement. It then analyses the strategic position of NSAs and the antecedents to current mutual distrust between state and NSAs. More specifically, the paper attempts a conceptual framework of relations between NSAs and government/donor agencies, the nature and structure of NSAs in Nigeria, and the roles or expected roles of NSAs in the political, social and economic development of the country. Relying mainly on secondary sources, it goes further to classify NSAs in Nigeria and undertakes a broad review of NGO activism based on their focal sectors. A review of emerging trends and implications for NSAs is then undertaken before projecting into the future of NSA participation in development in Nigeria. We supported some of the ideas with analysis of a sample database of NSAs developed by collating different database available in the country. The paper concludes with some recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Venditto & Biodun Oguyeni & Sheriffdeen Tella, 2005. "Non State Actors under the current ACP-EU cooperation agreement: A sectoral review of the Nigerian Context," Development and Comp Systems 0512025, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0512025
    Note: Type of Document - doc; pages: 26. There is a data bsa attached with 1616 entries of Nigerian NSA

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth
    • P - Economic Systems

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0512025. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.