Cocaine trafficking is the most lucrative criminal activity in West Africa. Although the flow of cocaine through the region has declined to about 18 tons per year in 2010 from a peak of 47 tons in 2007, the profits from this illicit trade may still be larger than the national security budgets of several West African countries. While in the past the cocaine remained the property of South American groups who simply made use of West African logistic services, nowadays, it appears that West Africans criminal groups are increasingly independent in bringing the drugs to their region. Other development in the region is the emergence of methamphetamine production and related trafficking.

This UNODC report, Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa: a Threat Assessment, analyses the dynamics of key crime in West Africa markets and provides recommendations for the international community to tackle these problems.

Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.