Security Agencies Focus On African Organised Crime

Law enforcement agencies have shifted their attention to transnational organised crime in Africa following last month’s international workshop on organised crime in South Africa.

“Given the urgency to combat transnational organised crime in Africa, it is surprising how little research has been published in Africa and particularly in Southern Africa,” said a recent report after the workshop that took place in Cape Town, South Africa.

The workshop provided an ideal opportunity to identify issues, compare views and find common themes on key matters around organised crime, governance, development and security, the report stated.

The workshop took place in partnership with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung and The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime. It had a panel of 22 researchers on organised crime in Africa.

The report says says most significant studies are produced by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and in South Africa by the Institute of Security Studies. However, other studies conducted by official bodies remain unpublished or exist in the form of “grey” literature, usually available on the internet but not widely circulated.

Further, several major development agencies are known to have commissioned research including the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which has prepared a handbook concerning the effects of the drug trade on development in West Africa.

The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development also commissioned research on organised crime and its implications for development, the report continued.

The workshop total of eight papers were presented at the workshop, namely: Organised crime in the world by Stephen Ellis Organised crime developments in Africa by Mark Shaw Organised crime and the state in South Africa by Sam Sole Cybercrime in Southern Africa: Recent trends by Graham Dawes Mining, organised crime and the state in Zimbabwe by Farai Maguwu Corruption and organised crime links in the DRC by Leigh Baldwin The role of organised foreign crime networks in the region by Peter Gastrow, and Evolution of organised crime in Nigeria, implications for Southern Africa by Etanibbi Alemika.

Source : New Era