07 Feb 2024

Drug trafficking / New approaches to regulating drugs in West Africa

This report explores the impact of Ghana’s drug policy reform.

Against the backdrop of increasing recognition of the failures of prohibitionist approaches to drug policy, Ghana’s legislative framework on drugs was radically reformed in 2020, introducing legislative alternatives to incarceration for drug possession for use. While the changes represent a beginning in the process of moving away from past failures and toward a future with a more evidence-based, human rights- and public health-centred approach to drugs, Ghana’s new legislation requires further review in order to align with emerging best practice.

About the authors

Lyes Tagziria is a senior analyst at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC). He has researched a wide range of illicit economies globally, is the editor of the Observatory of Illicit Economies in West Africa’s quarterly Risk Bulletin and was previously a senior member of the GI-TOC’s Organized Crime Index team.

Maria-Goretti Ane is the Africa Consultant for the International Drug Policy Consortium. She represents IDPC at regional events and also serves as a focal point for IDPC networking and advocacy work in West Africa. Maria-Goretti Ane is a lawyer with special interests in human rights and drug policy reforms.

Lucia Bird Ruiz Benitez de Lugo is the director of the Observatory of Illicit Economies in West Africa at the GI-TOC. Lucia’s work focuses on the intersection of illicit economies, conflict and instability and she previously worked as a legal and policy adviser to the Punjab Government, Pakistan and the Ministry of Finance, Ghana.

Image: © Merten Snijders/Getty Images

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union and the German Federal Foreign Office under the OCWAR-T project. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or the German Federal Foreign Office.

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