The heroin economy and arms control


Drugs and firearms have a profound impact on peace, security and development in Africa. The first session in this two-part seminar will take a critical look at the illicit drug trade in Africa. The continent is currently experiencing the sharpest increase in heroin use worldwide. The increase in the heroin trade into and through Africa also undermines development, democracy, governance and local economies.

Dr Jane Marie Ong'olo, Head of the Social Welfare Division at the African Union Commission, will present an overview of Africa’s challenges in the illicit drug trade and the harm caused in African societies. Mark Shaw, Director of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime, will present the findings of a new ENACT research paper titled The heroin coast: A political economy along the eastern African seaboard. This presentation will focus on the characteristics of the heroin trade and will closely examine the case of South Africa, which stands out as major destination for heroin – both for local sale and consumption and for onward shipping.

This will be followed by a critical discussion on the linkages between drug trafficking and the proliferation of illicit arms, as well as a broader discussion on arms control in Africa. Dr Nelson Alusala will present the findings of his ENACT research paper titled Africa in arms: taking stock of efforts for improved arms control. This session will explore some of the strides being made by the continent, and the AU in particular, in combatting illicit arms flows. It will also examine some of the hurdles that stand in the way of this vision, and look at strategies that the AU and its regional counterparts need to implement to overcome these challenges.

Chair: Martin Ewi, ENACT Technical Coordinator, ISS


Enquiries: Jacqueline Cochrane –

Photo © Pixabay

ENACT is funded by the European Union (EU), and implemented by the ISS, INTERPOL and Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime. Speakers appear in their personal capacity and cannot be seen to represent or reflect the position of the EU.

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ENACT is funded by the European Union
ENACT is implemented by the Institute for Security Studies and INTERPOL, in
affiliation with the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime
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