Posted on 06 Feb 2023
The Eastern and Southern Africa Commission on Drugs (ESACD) was created to address the serious and multifaceted drug problem facing parts of Eastern and Southern Africa.
The region is facing an increase in the volume of heroin being shipped from Afghanistan to Western markets, with a spillover trade for local consumption. There is concern over the high levels of drug use in the Indian Ocean island states and Cape Town’s severe problem with inexpensive heroin linked to gang control and violence. Despite the negative impact on transit countries, much of the focus has been on interdiction efforts and Western markets, and funding for health interventions has been limited. National responses to drug trafficking have been weak due to corruption and poor institutional capacity. To address these issues, the ESACD was formed following the model of the West Africa Commission on Drugs, which was created to raise awareness and engage with policymakers to find new approaches and reforms. The ESACD will review current policies, recommend evidence-based policies, and mobilize public opinion to promote action at all levels.
The ESA Commission on Drugs currently comprises four commissioners: former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Cassam Uteem of Mauritius and professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim.