African drug policies remain entrenched in a repressive, law enforcement-focused approach. Intensified drug trafficking in the region has raised concerns about the capacity of governments to tackle drug-related issues, as well as weak institutions, corruption and human rights violations. However, some movements for reform are now taking place in West Africa and several East African states.
With a goal of promoting harm reduction measures and increasing community awareness, OSIWA utilized the power of the cinema in order to educate locals in Senegal on drug addiction and illuminate the personal stories of users.
The conference was hosted by KANCO and brought together over 600 participants from more than 20 countries. It was a rare opportunity for Eastern Africa to have a conversation about drug policies that are progressive and that put people and communities first.
Eastern Africa needs to be taking an approach to drug use that reduces its harm, through the provision of clean needles and syringes and opioid substitution therapy, rather than continuing to punish people for their drug use.
Three members will be elected, consisting the representative from each of the 3 regions: Eastern Africa, Western Africa and Southern Africa and Two members will be elected to represent the Central and Northern regions.
Maziyar Ghiabi, guest editor of the special issue explains the 3 main purposes of this issue: complementarity, questions of methods and discipline, and finally to challenge the established assumptions about the place of drugs in the social sciences.