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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Activities & Organizations

U.S. ambassador to Nigeria visits UH

Tucked away in Tier One research university, some students find it difficult to keep up with national and international affairs.
Terence McCulley, U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, visited the UH Honors Commons on Monday to discuss the different components of the Obama administration’s “Doing Business in Africa” initiative and its benefits on America’s complex relationship with Nigeria.
“The U.S. considers Nigeria to be its most important strategic partner on the African continent,” McCulley said.

McCulley said the relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. Embassy is important and focuses on three key aspects: diplomacy, commercial transactions and security.

McCulley outlined the need for military and defensive education in Nigeria to help the nation combat Boko Haram, a jihadist organization in Nigeria training in northern Mali.

“Nigeria has been asking the U.S. for help with intelligence, help with training and building a better intelligence and security apparatus,” he said.

“We’re trying to help them build a more coordinated system to combat the threat.”

According to McCulley, northern Nigeria faces several accounts of insurgency and corruption that need to be addressed.

“There’s an extreme insurgency that’s been going on for two years,” he said. “The Nigerian government needs to get a handle on that using a very holistic, comprehensive approach. It will combine a targeted security response without violating the human rights of innocent civilians. At the same time it will communicate strategically how government is going to deliver essential public services to the northern populations who feel caught between this insurgency and security forces.”

“It sometimes has a very harsh response to attacks by insurgents.”

McCulley urged students to take an interest in foreign affairs after college. Students seeking to enter the field of foreign affairs would have a high level of job satisfaction, McCulley said.

“It’s an incredibly fulfilling career to serve the greatest country on Earth. Working for the State Department gives you an opportunity to represent America — not just the government, but the American people overseas,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity to open up your own mind and to tell America’s story to people in foreign countries.”

As for the youth’s role in government, McCulley said he encourages students to be proactive in their opinions to their government.

“You’ve got to start somewhere,” McCulley said. “I would encourage any student who is interested in an international career to consider the State Department.”

Additional reporting by Channler Hill and David Haydon.

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