Nigerian woman celebrates the retreat of violent extremist groups in her community
Nigerian woman celebrates the retreat of violent extremist groups in her community

Minimizing the conditions that allow terrorism to flourish in northeast Nigeria.


Nigeria is one of the U.S. Government’s most strategic allies in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the successful democratic transition of power in 2015, Nigeria still struggles with insecurity caused by Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa (BH and ISIS-WA). An escalated military offensive by Nigerian and regional security forces helped the government reclaim areas previously held by BH and ISIS-WA, and provided an opportunity for communities to return to their homes. The insurgency is far from over, however, as BH and ISIS-WA have increased attacks in Nigeria and neighboring countries in the Lake Chad Basin. To defeat BH and ISIS-WA, military operations must be coupled with efforts to address the underlying drivers of violent extremism.


USAID/OTI launched the Nigeria Regional Transition Initiative (NRTI) to minimize the conditions that allow terrorism to flourish and reduce BH and ISIS-WA recruitment and support for their ideology. Through small-scale, strategically targeted assistance to local partners, NRTI is:

  • Engaging vulnerable youth to be more resilient to the influences of violent extremists and to reduce the pool from which BH and ISIS-WA can recruit new members;

  • Battling the narratives used by violent extremists and addressing the economic drivers of extremism so Nigerian public opinion turns against the actors and ideas proposing violence;

  • Building a stronger sense of community and repairing social fabric to increase trust and cooperation among community members, which reduces the ability of BH and ISIS-WA to manipulate local divisions for their benefit;

  • Promoting confidence in responsiveness of local authorities and the Government of Nigeria in order to rebuild community trust that government is working for them and prevent BH and ISIS-WA from using  perceived grievances to portray themselves as a righteous alternative; and

  • Supporting the reintegration of former BH and ISIS-WA affiliates as a component of the Nigerian Government’s Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration process, to provide a “way out” of BH and ISIS-WA for people who want to defect.


  • USAID/OTI empowered more than 75 youth activists from Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger and Nigeria at the first Regional Youth Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in Maiduguri. Participants created country-specific CVE action plans, initiated follow-up meetings in additional countries and built a network of peers who are fighting a common enemy across the region.
  • USAID/OTI supported IOM’s work with the Government of Nigeria to develop and adopt a formal Demobilization, Disassociation, Reintegration and Reconciliation (DDRR) strategy and action plan for preventing and countering violent extremism. This is a critical step in advancing the fight to degrade and defeat BH and ISIS-WA in Nigeria.
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Last updated: August 02, 2018

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