The growth of the drug trade in West Africa has been expedited by weak government and judicial systems. Counternarcotics efforts have had limited success but have not resulted in an overall decrease in operations. West African governments and stakeholders should create a strategy that addresses the structural problems that allow this industry to prosper. These include treating drug use as a public health issue, unifying state drug legislation to close loopholes, and focusing on law enforcement deterrence over military offensives.
Africa features prominently in the global heroin trade as a transshipment point and a significant consumer market. Traffic to and through the continent is dominated by Africans, who account for 50 percent of all drug arrests in Pakistan. Sharply higher traffic through African commercial air and seaports suggest a need for more robust customs regimes and stronger investigative and judicial follow through to better understand and frustrate smuggling networks.
Africa Drug Trafficking RoutesAfrica is facing an increasingly menacing threat of cocaine trafficking that risks undermining its security structures, nascent democratic institutions, and development progress. Latin America has long faced similar challenges and its experience provides important lessons that can be applied before this expanding threat becomes more deeply entrenched on the continent – and costly to reverse.
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Security Topics: Counter Narcotics