Organised crime in Africa / Organised Crime Index

The ENACT Africa Organised Crime Index 2023 highlights longitudinal data trends and resilience to organised crime across the continent.

The ENACT Index is a tool that measures and assesses levels of organised crime on the continent. It ranks the 54 countries on the continent according to their levels of criminality on a score from 1 to 10 (lowest to highest levels of criminality) and according to their levels of resilience to organised crime from 1 to 10 (lowest to highest resilience levels).

The launch on 24 November 2023 highlighted longitudinal data on continental trends and provided insight into Africa’s regional dynamics through keynote presentations of the findings.

In terms of criminality, Kenya has a high average of 7.02, and a lower resilience average (5.33). In East Africa, in terms of criminality, Kenya ranks top out of the nine countries in the region. It is ranked fourth out of 54 countries in the continent, and at the global level, it is ranked 16th out of 194. Implicitly, Kenya is a significant hub for organised crime and although regulatory and institutional frameworks to address organised crime exist, there is significant scope for improvement.

In terms of regional dynamics, East Africa is the highest-scoring region on the continent for overall criminality (5.88) followed by West Africa (5.44). East Africa ranks among the top five regions for criminality in the world, as a hotbed of illicit activities and a stronghold for criminal actors, whose influence is aggravated by prolonged conflicts that make the region especially vulnerable to the threat of organized crime. Africa’s average for criminality is 5.25, with a resilience average of 3.25.

Kenya scores above average for all criminal markets assessed: human trafficking (8.0 out of 10); human smuggling (7.5); extortion and protection racketeering (7.0); arms trafficking (7.5); trade in counterfeit goods (7.0); heroin trade (7.5); cocaine trade (6.0); cannabis trade (6.5); synthetic drugs trade (5.5); cyber dependent crimes (8.0); and financial crimes (7.5). These illicit markets have a negative effect on nearly all parts of Kenyan society. They are not only highly profitable, but also increasing in their pervasiveness.

It poses a significant threat to livelihoods and an obstacle to much- needed international cooperation amid growing political, social and economic global disparities. Organised crime grows by taking advantage of gaps in governance, economic inequalities and political frictions. The findings of the 2023 ENACT Index give a clear signal that more needs to be done to address the relationship between organised crime and global trends, and the impact that illicit economies exert on governance and well-being.

The ENACT Index is not only an analytical exercise: it is designed to enrich the base of evidence to enable more effective policy responses. Indeed, an x-ray may reveal the problem, but it does not tell you the remedy. Therefore, the evidence presented in this report can be used as a tool to effect change.


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ENACT is funded by the European Union
ISS Donors
ENACT is implemented by the Institute for Security Studies in partnership with
INTERPOL and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime.