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West Africa Civil Society Institute Strengthening Civil Society


Regional Consultation on Drug Policy Reform in West Africa

West Africa is increasingly becoming a hub in the global drug trade and has become a transit point for narcotics from Latin America through to Europe.

Organised crime syndicates are also operating in West Africa with substantial increases in local drug production especially the manufacture of methamphetamines and its consumption. These developments pose a serious threat to good governance, peace and stability, economic growth and public health in West Africa, a region that has only recently emerged from decades of violent conflict.

The time is right, the upcoming General Assembly’s Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem in 2016 offers a unique opportunity for West African Countries to evaluate and adjust the current drug policies to ensure that it responds to national and regional realities. This can be done proficiently through a series of discussions among key stakeholders from the various sector institutions involved in drug policy formulation and implementation, including civil society.

It is within this context that the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) organised a series of National Multi-sectoral Meetings on drug policy reform in three target countries, Benin, Senegal and Ghana to shape discourse among key stakeholders in these countries from relevant public sector institutions who engage in drug policy formulation and implementation.

The three national meetings culminated into a regional wide consultation, for governments’ officials and national law enforcement agencies from 11 selected West African States. The regional consultation was organised in Accra from the 19-20 January 2016.

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