Trans-shipment of illicit narcotics from Latin America through to West Africa and onwards to Europe has increased significantly. Since 2008, the volume of cocaine transiting through West Africa was roughly 50 tons a year, and its annual worth is estimated at $2 billion. West Africa’s geographical proximity to European markets makes it strategically located for drug-smuggling purposes.
The rise of massive, powerful, and wealthy organized crime syndicates now illicitly trafficking narcotics across West Africa has thrown yet another threat into the already toxic brew plaguing the region. It's a challenge that requires a coordinated solution. It also requires the active involvement of civil society actors across the region.
Last week, Ghana’s vice president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur inaugurated the West Africa Commission on Drugs. Convened by Kofi Annan and chaired by the former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, the Commission plans to examine ways to crack down on drug trafficking and grapple with its impact on West Africa.
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