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.
Former Conservative Party leader William Hague suggests current Prime Minister Theresa May should legalise cannabis after admitting the war on drugs failed and the most recent issues surrounding the confiscation of Billy Caldwell's cannabis oil medication.
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.