Heart of Africa’s organised crime: Land, property and urbanisation


Most analyses of organised crime in Africa focus on illegal trafficking of commodities such as drugs, arms and wildlife. However, there have been few studies of what may be the largest type of organised criminal activity in Africa: land allocation, real estate and property development, which includes infrastructure and the delivery of basic public services such as water and electricity, particularly in urban areas. All 10 of the world’s fastest-growing cities are in Africa and Africa’s urban population is projected to double by 2030–2035. By then, 50% of all Africans are likely to live in urban areas, mainly in informal settlements. This policy brief recommends steps that can make urban development less vulnerable to crime.

About the author

Eric Scheye has been working on justice and security development; organized crime; women’s access to justice/ending violence against women; trafficking in persons & modern slavery; police accountability; statebuilding; governance; rule of law; and monitoring and evaluation for over 20 years. He has also participated on portfolio reviews of the United Kingdom, Australia, and the European Commission’s justice and security programming.

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