With globalization and mobile technology facilitating stronger linkages between global criminal networks and local criminal groups, transnational organized crime (TOC) is a growing threat to national and citizen security in Africa. TOC occurs through networks, which allow criminal syndicates, local actors, and certain corrupt government officials to exploit cross-border differences in economics and policies, fuel illicit markets, and nimbly adapt to African states’ efforts to detect and punish them. African states are bound in their counter-TOC efforts by governance principles like sovereignty, rule of law, and professional ethics, and are frequently faced with the challenge of calibrating joint strategic actions by military, police, and justice officials, as well as working with local leaders and supranational bodies to respond effectively.
The Africa Center’s countering transnational organized crime programming provides a trusted platform for senior-level security and justice professionals to engage in peer learning and experience sharing about the political economy of TOC in Africa, as well as the design and implementation of state responses to TOC from the community to the continental level. Activities frequently focus on:
- Applying collective knowledge of the security-development-governance nexus to analyze the drivers and patterns of TOC in Africa, the consequences for national and citizen security, and the implications for defense and security policy
- Comparing the challenges that the military, law enforcement, and judicial actors face in countering TOC, and considering ways for state security and justice actors to bolster interagency and cross-border collaboration
- Iteratively and adaptively identifying ways for counter TOC efforts to balance security, development, and governance/rule of law responses appropriately in context on the community, national, regional, and continental levels