Special United Nations Guest in Modern History Class

Students in Mr. Green’s Modern History class had the opportunity to hear from a special guest speaker from the United Nations: Chris Kwaja, Ph.D.

Dr. Kwaja is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Centre for Peace and Security Studies at the Modibbo Adama University of Technology in Yola, Nigeria. He is a member of the United Nations Working Group on Mercenaries and was formerly Director General of Research and Planning at the governor's office and Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Plateau State, Nigeria. His research and policy engagements have been on security sector reform in transition societies, the politics of identity in Africa, democratization, conflict, peace, and security analysis. 

In Mr. Green’s class, students are currently learning about the history of democracy. While it is one thing to understand democracy from an American perspective, Mr. Green invited Dr. Kwaja to challenge his students to understand democracy from a different lens. Dr. Kwaja provided an expert view of the nuances and complexities of democracy outside of the US context, specifically Nigeria and Africa. “His expertise in the area of democratization helped students build on their foundational knowledge—helping them better understand how democracy functions outside of the United States,” said Mr. Green.

During the presentation, Dr. Kwaja shared a brief history of Nigeria—its British colonial rule, military coups, the emergence of the military, the dawn of a new era of democratization, protest, and much more. He also spoke of the major challenges that Nigeria faced while democratizing. At the end of his talk, students had the opportunity to ask him questions to gain an even deeper understanding of what democracy looks like in Nigeria.