The Kukah Centre (TKC) is a Nigeria-based policy research institute, founded by Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. The Centre has offices in Abuja and Kaduna and treats political leadership as a collaborative exercise that requires multiple governance structures at various levels – individuals, households, small businesses, the organized private sector, NGOs and government.
Interfaith dialogue is at the core of the Centre’s work and involves actively promoting conversations among Nigeria’s faith communities, as well as between leaders in faith and public policy. The Kukah Centre aspires to become Nigeria’s leading institution for the promotion of an active and engaged citizenry by providing support for inclusive dialogue and advocacy initiatives.
Witness To Reconciliation
Witness to Reconciliation is a sequel to Witness to Justice. Both are part of a trilogy rendering insider accounts of Bishop Kukah’s personal experiences in trying to find a way through the thick forest of troubles that is Nigeria. The book also highlights the flow of stories in both books, which revolve around the theme of reconciliation in different initiatives and locations. The experiences shared involve individuals and communities seeking redress for perceived mistreatment by the Nigerian state, with a particular focus on the Ogoni people’s grievances against the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation. The chapter titled “State Crisis and Legitimacy: The Ogoni Crisis” delves into the comprehensive examination of this contestation.
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The project is designed to support political parties in Nigeria to be ideologically driven, to be more pluralistic, and to promote the enhancement of internal democracy within political system for the growth of democratic governance in Nigeria. Thus, it seeks to identify the institutional weaknesses of political parties and the party systems in Nigeria through research and policy recommendations that will facilitate and enhance party leadership and accountability to party members and citizens. It will also provide trainings for officers and members of political parties to acquire requisite skills and capacities to constructively and impactfully engage with the entire political process, as well as enhancing partnerships with key agencies whose constitutional duty it is to conduct elections in Nigeria.
TIMELINE: August 2022 – May 2027
OVERALL OBJECTIVE AND OUTPUT: The objective of the project is to enhance pluralism, internal democracy, and equity among political parties and the political party system in Nigeria. The project specifically aims to:
- Strengthen research and policy frameworks for political parties’ development in Nigeria.
- Promote structured, better organized and ideologically driven political parties that are accountable to members and citizens.
- Enhance capacities of political parties to constructively engage with the electoral process and key stakeholders including INEC, Judiciary, Executive, CSOs among others.
- Facilitate and promote internal mechanisms for promoting affirmative action and support to women, youth and persons with disabilities, and
- Enhancement of Political Parties’ visibility actions.
The project is designed to support the National Peace Committee (NPC) in fostering Peace before, during and after the 2023 General Elections and Overall Peace in Nigeria. In 2015, the NPC played a crucial role in ensuring peaceful elections by organizing a National Sensitization Workshop on Non-Violence and having all Presidential Candidates and Political Parties sign a Peace Accord. This contributed to the peaceful transfer of power from the ruling party to the opposition. In 2019, the NPC again intervened to address concerns related to litigations against the electoral commission, vote buying, insecurities, and alleged partiality of security services. They held plenary meetings and signed two Peace Accords in December 2018 and February 2019. Despite tensions after the 2019 election results, the NPC members intervened to restore calm. The NPC has extended its efforts to state-level governorship elections, making a significant impact in states like Edo and Ondo.
TIMELINE: January 2022 – April 2024
OVERALL OBJECTIVE AND OUTPUT: The overall objective of the action is to ensure a peaceful outcome of the 2023 General Elections that is largely acceptable to Nigerians and the international community. To facilitate before and beyond the 2023 General Election interventions in other non-electoral matters which will foster reconciliation and the overall socio-economic development of the country. More specifically, the objectives include the need to:
- Commit candidates and political parties participating in the elections at the Federal and State levels to a Peace Agreement and to monitor compliance with provisions of the agreement in order to improve adherence to its terms and conditions.
- Collaborate with INEC to ensure that all Peace Agreements become legally binding and can be used in the Court of Law during electoral litigations.
- Help foster substantive, issues-based electoral campaign devoid of divisive ethnic, religious and hate slurs which overall will help drastically reduce politically motivated violence before, during and after the elections.
- Build on the Committee’s key 2019 legacy of having the losing candidates concede the election in a timely and unequivocal manner and where they are unable to accept the outcome, to seek redress through established legal channels.
- Encourage INEC, the security and other government agencies involved in the elections to be transparent and non-partisan in the discharge of their duties.
- Help facilitate the resolution of intra-party and inter-party disputes that may undermine the electoral process and unity of Nigeria by serving as a platform for mediation and conciliation.
- Proactively work with religious, traditional and community leaders and organizations to deescalate tension and build trust ahead of the elections, especially in active conflict zones and parts of the country prone to electoral violence.
- Engage such other stakeholders as the business community, civil society groups, media proprietors and professionals and relevant regulatory agencies to ensure credible and peaceful elections.
- Use its enormous convening power and goodwill to foster peace in the short term among conflict parties, especially as it relates to the 2023 elections with the hope that further dialogue (post-election) will lead to the resolution of the issues.
The expected impact of the proposed action can never be over-stressed as most observers including development partners believe that the peaceful outcome of the 2023 general elections is unarguably the biggest challenge Nigeria faces. And this exactly is what the action is designed to achieve- consolidating on the achievements of the National Peace Committee during the 2015 and 2019 general elections.
FUNDED BY: European Union Delegation to Nigeria & ECOWAS
The project is designed to deploy the influence of The Kukah Centre to galvanize the voices of key stakeholders, including members of the National Peace Committee to provide advocacy in support of peace and stability, before, during, and after the 2023 general elections. To achieve this, the centre is implementing a stakeholder approach to augment the Independent State-Based Peace Architectures (ISPAs) capabilities across 15 states. The ISPAs will engage and train various demographic groups, including women, men, youths, and persons with disabilities (PWDs), in peacebuilding, conflict management, mediation, and peaceful participation in electoral processes. By virtue of their comprehensive understanding of the challenges of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and mediation, these architectures will put forward policy recommendations to the National Peace Committee, grounded in local realities. This training will equip them with the necessary skills to positively contribute to peacebuilding and conflict resolution in their communities and localities. Furthermore, the approach will ensure the utilization of traditional and contemporary media outlets in advocating for peace and mitigating electoral violence in the run-up to, during, and in the aftermath of the 2023 general and off-cycle elections. In addition, to convene a National Peace Conference with regional agitators and socio-cultural groups, with the support of National Peace Committee members, aimed at bringing the concerns and policy initiatives of Nigerians to the attention of the government, engendering trust, and reducing tension. This endeavor will undoubtedly foster enduring peace and stability of Democracy in Nigeria
TIMELINE: February 2023 – January 2024
OVERALL OBJECTIVE AND OUTPUT: The objective of the project is to promote relative peace in Nigeria through key stakeholders and media sensitization, before, during, and after the 2023 elections; Nigerians’ concerns and policy initiatives are brought to the government’s attention, especially institutions responsible for conducting free, fair, and credible elections through relevant stakeholders. Independent State-based Peace Architectures and women and youth groups, including PWD, are equipped with cognate skills to identify and mediate potential conflict areas. The creation of synergy and strategic collaboration between different groups working for Peace and some women-led and youth groups. Increased public awareness to promote peace before, during and after the 2023 elections and increase ISPA’s engagement with key stakeholders such as state actors, CSOs, traditional and religious groups, women-led and youth groups on matters of peacebuilding, conflict resolution and mediation processes.
FUNDED BY: UK Aid, Foreign Commonwealth Development Office
The Deploying Strategies project is an intervention aimed at strengthening civic participation and peacebuilding in Northwest Nigeria particularly in Kaduna and Sokoto States. It strongly emphasizes promoting women’s engagement, inclusivity, and community resilience against insecurity and extremism. Through the active involvement of community leaders, women, and youths, the project establishes Early Warning and Response mechanisms to prevent conflicts. The project is implemented by Global Rights in partnership with The Kukah Centre with support from the CSSF Nigeria Stability Programme of the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
TIMELINE: March 2023 – April 2024
OVERALL OBJECTIVE AND RESULT EXPECTED: The objective of this project is to encourage civic engagement, community participation in peacebuilding, citizen involvement in democratic processes, and raise awareness about women’s issues in the Northwest region of Nigeria which will result in:
- Increased involvement of women in decision-making and peacebuilding processes.
- Improve trust, and build synergy, and collaboration between communities and law enforcement agencies, which will enhance community resilience and consolidate peacebuilding mechanisms in intervention locations).
- Strengthened civic engagement and increased citizen, particularly women participation in democratic processes.
- Contribute to the existing knowledge on women, peace, and security issues, through empirical data from interventions in the North-West region of Nigeria.
FUNDED BY: CSSF Nigeria Stability Programme of the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) through Global Rights
The project ‘’Strengthening Social Cohesion in Lagos state Nigeria’’ is set against the backdrop of the recently concluded 2023 general elections in Nigeria and the issues that emerged such as identity politics, hate-filled rhetoric, thuggery, animosity recrimination, despair, and violence. Lagos state was sharply divided along socio-cultural sentiments, with narratives that continue to exhume biases, prejudices, and grievances, that are detrimental to social cohesion and national unity.
Consequently, The Kukah Centre with support from Mac Arthur Foundation has conceptualized an intervention to strengthen social cohesion, cultural sensitivity, and tolerance in Lagos through advocacy and dialogue by addressing the drivers of social disharmony in the state such as the Politics of Identity; Cultural Illiteracy; Social division; Absence of common citizenship.
TIMELINE: September 2023 – August 2024
OVERALL OBJECTIVE AND OUTCOME: To Strengthen Social Cohesion in Lagos state, Nigeria. This project will provide a platform that will facilitate healing and reconciliation amongst critical stakeholders as they engage in dialogue to collectively proffer solutions to these contemporary challenges and strengthen state-wide coherence. This effort will foster unity, douse the tense atmosphere and renew the hope of the youths that Lagos is still the springboard of many realities.
FUNDED BY: Mac Arthur Foundation
The ProFuturo Project is a digital education programme promoted by Telefónica Foundation and ¨la Caixa¨ Foundation to narrow the education gap in the world by improving the quality of education for millions of children living in vulnerable environments of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. ProFuturo implements a Digital Education Programme that, through innovative digital teaching-learning experiences, enhances teachers´ pedagogical and digital skills, and meaningful student learning.
The Kukah Centre, Secretariat of the NPC in collaboration with the Northern Governors Forum and the Catholic Bishops Conference; with the support of ProFuturo Foundation in Madrid, Spain, introduced the Digital Classroom Project where digital tools for learning were provided in public and private primary Schools in Thirteen (13) Northern Nigeria States, while giving disadvantaged Children a new learning and teaching experience.
TIMELINE: 2017 – Date
OVERALL OBJECTIVE AND OUTCOME: The overall objective of the ProFuturo Digital Classroom Project is to reduce the digital and social gap of children in vulnerable environments through the improvement of the quality of education. Other objectives are:
- To improve the opportunities of boys and girls in vulnerable situations through transformational education initiatives based on innovative and high-quality digital education.
- To provide initial and reinforcement training for local coaches and teachers.
- To identify local partners and advocate for support and project deployment.
- To ensure the prospection of schools to confirm sustainability for the project.
- To ensure monitoring and evaluation of the project to ensure sustainability.
The Profuturo project in Nigeria has achieved significant success in improving access to quality education, especially in regions with limited access to education resources. The initiative has been praised for its impact on learning outcomes and for its ability to promote digital competencies among students and teachers.
- The PF project in Nigeria, in cumulative data has been able to benefit 68,920 direct beneficiaries.
- In 2022, as audited data we have reached 123 Educational Centres, 8,717 Children and 146 teachers are currently creating digital contents. (Indirect teachers through online courses)
- 2023 data:
- Number of Schools: 100 Schools
- Total number of children and adolescents benefited; 85,177 Children.
- Total number of teachers trained and coached, and number of trainings carried out; 348.
- Total number of headteachers empowered; 348.
- Improved teaching competencies.
- Motivation for changing teaching methods.
- Educational innovation.
- Improved competencies.
- Addressing digital gaps.
- Personalized learning.
- Motivation of students.
- Commitment of families.
- Changes in school planning.
- Increased advocacy and engagements with stakeholders.
- Increased capacity building training for project team members.
- Increased monitoring of champions activities.
- Introduction and use of School Assessment and Transmission (SAT) tools.
FUNDED BY: ProFuturo Foundation
Gender-based violence (GBV) in Nigeria has become a silent pandemic affecting thousands of women and girls as they make up the most victims and survivors of GBV in the country. In Nigeria as well as most of Africa, GBV is legitimized by norms, traditional beliefs and practices. Misinterpreted religious texts, verses and practices over the years have been deployed to either justify or reinforce GBV in Nigeria. Additionally, GBV is legitimized by norms, traditional beliefs and practices. Most structurally motivated GBV emanates from social norms which define what constitutes abuse of women both at the private and public levels. Many government and non-governmental societies have attempted to proffer programs to mitigate, prevent and combat GBV. Yet, religious teachings and ideologies that appear to justify GBV on women remain unchallenged in all its forms. For this reason, The Kukah Centre in partnership with The Bakhita Initiative (TBI) and supported by the Ford Foundation, this intervention throughout two (2) years of the project intervention timeframe to go beyond the socio-economic and political approach to the issue of GBV.
TIMELINE: August 2021- July 2023
OVERALL OBJECTIVE AND OUTCOME: The project deploys the instruments of religion both at the institutional and doctrinal levels to prevent and address GBV. Thus, the objective of the project is to:
- Develop an inclusive National Religious policy framework for preventing and combating gender-based violence in Nigeria.
- To extensively engage religious scholars, faith-based organizations, key stakeholders, and women groups across the six (6) geo-political zones to help develop strategies that will translate into a National Policy Framework for Preventing and Combating GBV.
- To provide counter and alternative narratives that support the promotion of integral human development of women and girls from a religious perspective.
FUNDED BY: Ford Foundation
The security situation in Kaduna and Benue states has been a source of concern for several years, with violent incidents and killings becoming increasingly prevalent. Unfortunately, this trend has continued to worsen, with various criminal activities like land disputes, kidnapping, and banditry contributing to the ongoing violence. The root causes of this insecurity are diverse, ranging from corruption and government neglect to environmental resource conflicts and ethnic dominance. Unfortunately, the conflicts have also exacerbated tensions between herders and pastoralists, jeopardizing their social, and economic well-being and the death of many people in the states leaving women and girls hugely vulnerable.
The impact of conflict on women and girls in a community is always different, as they have lost their husbands to the conflict, they are forced to become breadwinners in the home with little or no resources. Women are predominant farmers in most parts of Kaduna and Benue states, the conflict especially the clash between herders and pastoralists has hugely affected the access to their farmlands as they have been forced to abandon their farms due to the conflict. Many women have been widowed, have lost their farmlands and lack the skills to build their economic resilience to the conflict situation in the states.
Government response primarily to these conflicts was dictated by military offensive as the first option rather than the last resort. Communities are not engaged or consulted, contrary to this approach, the goal of this project, undertaken by The Kukah Centre, with the support of The Fountain of Life Church, Lagos, is to build the resilience of Christian widows who face daunting challenges in rebuilding their lives as survivors of the violence in Southern Kaduna and Benue state.
TIMELINE: Phase 1: February 2021-July 2021 (Kaduna State)
Phase 2: March 2022-August 2022 (Benue State)
OVERALL OBJECTIVE AND OUTCOME: To achieve this, the project trained Christian widows on a particular set of skills which will provide them with relevant capacity to build economic resilience with start-ups that will
support their social and economic recovery. More specifically, the project will:
- Identify, select and train twenty-fine (25) Christian widows and fifty (50) Christian widows who are survivors of violent conflict in Southern Kaduna and Benue State respectively.
- Conduct skills acquisition training both at the entrepreneurship and vocations levels for the selected widows to develop their capacity and build their resilience in achieving economic and social recovery.
- Provide the selected widows with cash start-ups to aid them in setting up businesses from the skills gotten from the vocational training to build their economic resilience.
- Train the selected widows on mental health management skills to aid them in healing from the trauma they experienced during and after the conflict.
- Provide training on peace-building and religious tolerance to foster social co-existence.
FUNDED BY: The Fountain of Life Church, Lagos
Nigeria continues to face a crisis in the educational system, especially in the northern part of the country. The northern part of Nigeria known as the home of the world’s largest out-of- school population, most of whom are girls, the northeast and northwest have had to contend with massive flows of internally displaced population (IDPs) following the rise of terrorism and insurgency in the northeast and banditry in the northcentral and northeast. Alarming levels of food insecurity and malnutrition from protracted conflict in the north-east and growing hostilities in the north-west, compounded by epidemic outbreaks such as yellow fever, cholera and malaria, continue to exacerbate an already dire situation. Thus, the violence, in general, has worsened school attendance, lower reading ability, and lower perceived safety when travelling to and from school.
These situations are worsened for orphans in the region. Children who have lost either one parent (single orphans) or both parents (doubled orphans) are faced with harsh realities with no sustainable means of livelihood. Children have also dropped out of school because of the loss of both parents and lack of financial support.
OVERALL OBJECTIVE AND OUTCOME: The Kukah Centre, in line with its mandate to provide leadership development for youths through providing access to proper education at every level, designed this project intervention to provide academic scholarships to forty (40) Christian Orphans in the northern part of Nigeria, with the support of The Fountain of Life Church under the Vineyard project. The scholarship is to cover the junior secondary and senior secondary school fees which is six (6) years of schooling for selected beneficiaries. The overall object of the project is to provide academic scholarships for Christian Orphans in northern Nigeria.
FUNDED BY: The Fountain of Life Church under the Vineyard Project