First Wednesday: Africa’s Islamic State?

Talk Wednesday 4 February 2015, 7:00 PM

Last month, when the world’s attention was focused on the attacks in France, reports emerged that as many as 2,000 people had been killed in the northeast Nigerian town of Baga. This attack comes as part of an increased surge in violence linked to Boko Haram.

As Nigeria gears up for a presidential election on 14 February, we will be exploring what is being done to combat Boko Haram and why these efforts seem to be failing.

With attacks in neighbouring countries on the increase, as the group continues to expand its operations, we will be examining the regional impact and asking what needs to be done to confront this growing threat.

Chaired by BBC journalist Peter Okwoche.

The panel:

Alex Perry is an author, correspondent and a contributing editor at Newsweek’s international edition. His books include Falling Off The Edge, Lifeblood and The Rift, and The Hunt for Boko Haram. Prior to joining Newsweek, he was a correspondent for TIME.

Mike Smith is a foreign correspondent for AFP news agency and was bureau chief in Western Africa from 2010 to 2013, based in Nigeria. He has extensively covered the Boko Haram insurgency and is author of Boko Haram: Inside Nigeria’s Unholy War.

Funmi Iyanda is a Nigerian producer, talk show host and journalist. She is the co-founder and director of Creation UK. She independently produced and hosted Nigeria’s most popular talk show, New Dawn with Funmi Iyanda, which ran on the national network for eight years.

Bala Mohammed Liman is a doctoral candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where his research is examining the nexus between conflict and identity in Nigeria, with particular emphasis on the emerging culture of conflict in Northern Nigeria. His research also focuses on understanding the Boko Haram insurgency and its effect on the region.