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West Africa Civil Society Institute Strengthening Civil Society


Civil Society Workshop on Drug Policy in West Africa

In West Africa, civil wars have receded, democracy has gained ground and economies are growing. But a destructive new threat is jeopardizing this progress: with local collusion, international drug cartels are undermining countries and communities, and devastating lives.

After looking at the evidence, consulting experts from the region and around the world, and visiting some of the most affected countries and communities in the region, the West Africa Commission on Drugs (WACD) in June 2014, after 18 months of research, released their ground breaking report “Not Just in Transit: Drugs, the State and Society in West Africa”. According to the report, drugs pose a new threat to the development of West African countries. As the title suggests, the region is being increasingly destabilized not only by the illicit trade but also by the local production and consumption of drugs. 

The results of this analysis shed light on the extent of the illicit trading. The trafficking of cocaine, estimated at 1.25 billion dollars alone, exceeds the national budgets of many states in the region. The WACD report’s recommendations present policy makers, donors, civil society and other actors in the region with an invaluable resource to review and reform drug laws. It is within this context that the WACD, the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and IDPC – in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), the Kofi Annan Foundation (KAF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)organised this “Civil Society Workshop on Drug Policy in West Africa”.

Download full report here.

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The Institute has a resource centre that is open to civil society actors in the region. It serves as a library of civil society documents, research reports and edited volumes that are accessible to both individuals and organisations. The Institute has partnered the Foundation Centre to provide online learning resources and a database of grant giving institutions in the United States of America.

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