About Us

After 12years of working in the UN and shuttling between tough terrains, mediating crises, resolving conflicts as well as preaching the gospel of global peace, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, CFR decided to return to Nigeria to use his expertise and experience to help address the enormous developmental challenges that Nigeria, ECOWAS and Africa are grappling with. He established Savannah Centre to focus on the nexus between peace, democracy and development. Often times, most ‘think tanks’ are established to deal with one or two of the above three thematic issues. Savannah Centre was established on the underlying principle that peace, development and democracy are inextricably linked. Gambari was inspired by two UN Secretaries-General, both Africans – Boutros Boutros- Ghali and Kofi Annan. They both wrote seminal reports that dealt with peace, development and democracy in the world.


Nigeria’s 2019 General Elections: Savannah Centre’s Message of Hope to All Stakeholders.

February 13, 2019
Since the commencement of the Fourth Republic in 1999, Nigeria has had four successive general elections (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015) during which political power was transferred, peacefully, from one democratically elected government to the other. In 2015, Nigeria made history as Political Power was successfully transferred from an incumbent Government and Political Party to the opposition. That seamless transfer of power raised Nigeria’s Political Profile in the comity of nations. Nigeria must build on the lessons learnt from that peaceful exercise which made Nigerians proud of their nation. In less than 60 hours, Nigerians will go to the pools to cast their votes for various Political Parties and Candidates. This will be the Sixth general elections in Nigeria since the commencement of the Fourth Republic in 1999. Nevertheless, despite these notable electoral successes recorded in the election periods mentioned above, grave concerns have been expressed over the lack of strict adherence to rules and regulations governing the integrity of the Nigerian electoral process. Therefore, there is the need for great improvement to guard against violent disputes which often mar the credibility and acceptability of the outcomes, thus casting a shadow doubt on the overall credibility of democracy in Nigeria. Concerned about these electoral malpractices and the resultant disruptive disputes, often marred in violence in the Nigerian electoral circles, the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), like other concerned stakeholders, felt that time had come for more positive steps to be taken to work together towards addressing these discredited electoral processes with a view to enhancing the credibility, sustainability and  acceptability of the election outcomes by Nigerians and the international community. The LEAD Project As part of its contribution to the nation’s efforts towards establishing the culture of peaceful, transparent, free, fair and credible general elections in Nigeria from 2019 and beyond and laying the foundation for a more democratic and people-driven party politics and credible electoral processes  that are guided by the rule of law to ensure the emergence of competent and effective leadership that would  guide and drive the political processes  for effective, transparent and accountable governance in Nigeria, the Savannah Centre, conceptualised and designed the “Leadership Effectiveness and Accountability Dialogue” (LEAD) as a Project. This Project which is designed for a period of four to five years, is to be driven by a Special Council known as the ‘Council of the Wise’, made up of seven (7) notable, knowledgeable, experienced and widely respected men and women, with equal number and calibre, as alternate members, all carefully selected from the country’s six geopolitical zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Happily, this project is financially supported by MacArthur Foundation /PLAC, for its first two years (2018/2020). Essentially, the LEAD Project, is a Political Accountability and Open Governance enlightenment and Training Project, aimed at reawakening the conscience, re-educating and rebuilding the capacity of the Nigerian critical political stakeholders and influencers (Political Parties, Candidates, Traditional and Religious Leaders, Youths and Women Organisations, Media, Business Groups, Academia and Think-Tanks


February 12, 2019
The attention of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development has been drawn to the publication on “News Agency of Nigeria” website, https://www.nan.ng/news/oyedepo-gambari-others-endorse-buhari/, with the headline: Oyedepo, Gambari, others endorse Buhari re-election bid and to make some clarifications: a. At the time of this publication, Professor Ibrahim Gambari was abroad and could therefore not have been at the meeting under reference and be one of its signatories. b. Professor Ibrahim Gambari is a statesman and not a partisan politician hence his role in the political environment in Nigeria, is to moderate actions and reactions of partisan politicians with the hope of finding common grounds for Nigeria’s electoral progress for sustainable democracy. c. As Chairman and Founder of SCDDD, Professor Gambari, and indeed the Savannah Centre, remain apolitical, but with deep engagement with all stakeholders for the survival of democracy in Nigeria. Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, Abuja

SCDDD Press Release on 2019 Nigeria’s Elections.

January 22, 2019
    The Nigerian state has entered yet another election cycle in our journey of democracy. As we approach the general elections of 2019, the country has begun to see activities consistent with democratic norms yet full of aberrations that threatens democracy itself and our collective aspiration for a stable and progressive nation. If the path of development through democracy is to be followed diligently, recent events in the polity portend danger we must avert. We in Savannah Centre have therefore deemed it necessary to express the need for caution in our national polity. Key players must exercise extreme sense of decorum and patriotism during this period by avoiding incendiary comments and engaging in activities that can cause derailment of the democratic process as we move towards the 2019 general elections. Click the link below to download the full release. Heating the national polity  

Seasons Greetings

December 24, 2018
  In Warm appreciation, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. On behalf of the entire SCDDD Team, we would like to wish all of you a very happy holiday Season and a year full of happiness, success and good health in 2019! As we reflect back on all that we have accomplished this year, we of course realize that none of this is possible without the support of people like you, people who believe in working towards achieving sustainable democracy, national peace and good governance practices. Thank you for your commitment! We hope you will continue to support us in the years ahead. God Bless You!!!

Report of SCDDD Policy Monitoring Dialogue (PMD) 2 on “Leadership Governance and Security Challenges in Nigeria”

January 29, 2018
The second edition of the key governance issues to be addressed in the 4-serie policy monitoring dialogue hosted by the Savannah Centre and funded by the Ford Foundation. This 2nd edition of PMDP event is titled “Political Leadership, Security and Governance as National Questions”, designed specifically to address the state of insecurity in Nigeria, using a holistic and pro-active approach, by addressing the growing incidences of youth restiveness in the country with separatist ideologies as recorded in the South-east and Niger Delta. Also, internal-communal conflicts/herdsmen and pastoralist clashes in the North-west and North central, violent and political extremism in the North-east (Boko Haram), North-west Shiite Sheik El-Zakzaky led Islamic Movement of Nigeria among others.   DOWNLOAD REPORT

OSAA & SCDDD Organizes Expert Group Meeting on “The Role of African Civil Society in Preventing Violent Extremism in Africa”

January 29, 2018
Against this backdrop, the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) and the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) will convene an Expert Group Meeting on “The Role of African Civil Society in Preventing Violent Extremism in Africa”. The meeting will take place on 28 – 29 November 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria. The EGM provides a platform to highlight the important role of civil society organizations in preventing violent extremism in Africa as well as amplify civil society perspectives and examine ways to enhance their effectiveness, capacity and international support.       DOWNLOAD PICTURES DAY I DOWNLOAD PICTURES DAY II DOWNLOAD CONCEPT NOTE

Savannah Centre Holds Policy Monitoring Dialogue 3 on Unity and National Integration: Threats and Opportunities for National Development.

January 29, 2018
The first edition of the policy monitoring Dialogues centered on “State of the Nigerian Economy: Threats, Challenges, and Opportunities”, the Second Edition was on “Political Leadership, Governance, and National Security”. It was on this basis that Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), with the support from the Ford Foundation, sort to organise the third edition of the policy monitoring Dialogue in Abuja on the 13th and 14th of July, 2017 at Ladi Kwali Hall of Sheraton Hotel and Towers Abuja with the theme: Unity and National Integration: Threats and Opportunities for National Development. The Third Policy Monitoring Dialogue pursue to build on PMD 1 & 2, considering the strong interconnection between national integration, national security, economic development and good governance. DOWNLOAD REPORT
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