Event Details

03 Mar


03 Mar 2022
3 PM

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The African continent continues it long history with drug cultivation, production, consumption and trade. The complexity and diversity of the drug issue in Africa mirrors the broad complexity of the continent itself. Africa has always been well known for cannabis across the continent and to a lesser degree for Khat in the eastern part and the horn of the continent. Further, Africa has a long standing history of heroin transiting from southern Asia through eastern Africa to Europe.

In recent decades, heroin has been expanding in many regions across the continent as micro trafficking networks proliferate. Cocaine, meanwhile is reasonably new, originally transiting the western shores, and more recently through some north African countries as Andean cocaine makes its way to Europe and beyond. However, the continent is also now seeing growing amounts of cocaine transiting the southern and eastern shores for both transhipment and domestic use. Methamphetamine is also relatively recent, being produced in Southern Africa since the early 1990s, but now also produced in West Africa and used quite extensively in southern and eastern Africa. Meanwhile various others drugs, such as synthetic cannabinoids, represent an evolving series of trends within the region.

Given the diversity of issues and complexity of markets, a homogenous policy response is unlikely to yield positive outcomes. This event will point to more complex and multidimensional responses grounded in a commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These responses include rural and urban development, as well as harm reduction approaches and drug policy based on the protection of human rights.


Intro: Screening of the DDH Video

Opening Remarks:

  • Daniel Brombacher, Head of Project, Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development (GPDPD)
  • Mark Shaw, Director, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC) 
  • Chair: Gladwell Otieno, Executive Director, Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) 


  • Deborah Alimi, Independent Researcher on Drug Policy, Daleth Research – Applying a development approach to drug policy in Africa
  • Monique Marks, Head of Urban Futures Centre, the Durban University of Technology – Community resilience and urban development responses to drug issues
  • Chinwike Okereke, Founder/CEO, African Law Foundation (AFRILAW) Nigeria – Human rights approach to criminal justice and drug policy

Closing remarks: Abel Basutu, Programme Management Specialist, African Union


  • Local governments, policy makers
  • Regional civil society actors, academia
  • Regional institutions and associations working on drugs and development issues


About the Drugs and Development Hub (DDH)

The DDH provides an interactive platform for discussions between academics, policy makers and affected communities involved in illicit drug crop cultivation, drug production and/or trafficking, and/or those that have transitioned beyond it. DDH seeks to create greater awareness about the links between drugs, (organised) crime and development by integrating the needs and capabilities of researchers, policy makers and of civil society, in order to gain a more holistic understanding of current phenomena surrounding illicit drug economies. The goal is to develop a more robust, long-lasting and extensive collaborative network between academics, policy makers and civil society for discussing past and future development interventions and their relation to drug policy.