The stories in the first issue of the regular ‘Risk Bulletin’ of new trends, developments and insights from the criminal economies of Eastern and Southern Africa are drawn from our network of analysts and researchers, who form the basis of the newly established Civil Society Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Each story provides insight, analysis and new and original data about a key trend in the region, highlighting the risks this poses to development, democracy or effective responses.

This month, these stories include:

  • new data showing the pernicious effects of arrests targets for drug possession on clogging up the court system in Cape Town, South Africa
  • an analysis of the impact of the Akasha brothers conviction on the Kenyan heroin trade
  • vital insights into the local dynamics in Pretoria and Johannesburg – involving corrupt police, drivers in the taxi industry, and drug dealing syndicates – that catalyzed recent xenophobic violence in South Africa
  • possible links between the decline of Mombasa, Kenya,  as an ivory hub and as a heroin trafficking hub
  • and questions raised by apparent successes against rhino poaching in South Africa and Mozambique

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Risk bulletins are regular outputs of our regional observatories, which draw on civil society networks to provide new data and contextualize trends related to organized-crime networks, illicit trade and state responses to them.