n Journal of African Foreign Affairs - Trade as an instrument of diplomacy : an assessment of Nigeria’s version of protectionist trade

Volume 4 Number 1-2
  • ISSN : 2056-564X
  • E-ISSN: 2056-5658



The focus of this paper is to demonstrate that international trade is a major instrument of diplomacy. Adopting a qualitative research approach which involves utilization of documentary sources, the paper demonstrates the extent to which trade has remained a major instrument of diplomatic bargaining. Delving into history, the study establishes that contrary to the prevailing “free trade” mantra, virtually all the major economic powers adopted versions of protectionist trade both at the formative and every stage of their industrial growth. In comparative terms, the paper assessed Nigeria’s version of protectionist trade as a viable strategy for its economic growth, however, the inability of the country to take advantage of this strategy for its industrial takeoff lies within the triple challenges of strategies of its adoption, domestic and external inhibitions. The paper recommends creative and pragmatic strategies for effectively implementing achievable development-driven protectionist trade policies.

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