The return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999 improved the country's image abroad and allowed the country to take a more active and productive role regionally and on the global stage. Obasanjo has visited the United States and European nations to restore investment flows into Nigeria, but poor economic policy implementation has led to breakdown in relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a policy void in 2002. That void is likely to be filled because of intense political pressure on the IMF to support a re-elected civilian government in Nigeria.
Under Obasanjo's leadership, Nigeria has proven a powerhouse in the region in economic and security affairs. Without Nigeria, ECOMOG (West African Peace Monitoring Force) of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) would be toothless, and African-led peacekeeping missions in Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone would not have been possible. Nevertheless, Obasanjo has not resolved several border disputes between Nigeria and neighbors Benin, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. Oral arguments on the land and maritime boundary disputes between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakasi Peninsula were presented to the ICJ, but the process requires drawing a new border between the two countries and has been marred by armed clashes. Nigeria also disputes the maritime boundary and economic zone in the Gulf of Guinea, which involves Equatorial Guinea.
Obasanjo has been instrumental in gathering African leaders to work towards establishing a code of conduct in economic and political reforms that would satisfy the conditions and expectations of Western donors. At the June 2001 Group of Eight summit in Genoa, Italy, Obasanjo was one of four leading African heads of state to unveil an Africaninitiated plan called the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). NEPAD is designed to garner aid from donors in return for African commitments to good governance. Obasanjo has led a number of meetings on NEPAD including the March 2002 summit of leaders from 19 countries.
Nigeria is a member of the following international organizations: the UN and several of its special and related agencies, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the African Union (AU), Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), Commonwealth, INTELSAT, Nonaligned Movement, and several other West African bodies. During the Babangida regime, Nigeria joined the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).