Assessing the impact of organised crime on African development

Up until recently relegated to the status of tactical issue, organised crime is now a recognised strategic threat with detrimental effects on security, stability, governance and development. As for the latter, countries on the way to meeting their Millennium Development Goals, may now not do so due to the damaging effects of organised criminal activities, most notably narcotics trafficking.

In West Africa, these problems are linked to the dramatic surge in cocaine, and to a lesser extent heroin, trafficking through the region over the past decade. This has prompted former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to establish the West Africa Commission on the Impact of Drugs on Governance, Security and Development (WACD), in January 2013.

The IISS welcomed Professor Stephen Ellis and Ms Camino Kavanagh, both advisors to the WACD and accomplished experts in this area of work, to present the findings of some of their most recent field research.