Event Details

23 Nov


23 Nov 2020

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Meeting ID: 817 2459 9175

Passcode: 268804

Smuggling networks have operated along the Swahili coast for millennia, stretching down the east coast of Africa from Somalia to northern Mozambique, with connections to the Arabian peninsula, modern day Iran and Pakistan, and the island states of the Comoros and Madagascar, amongst others. The heroin trafficking ‘southern route’ from the Makran coast to landing sites on the Swahili coast is well documented, but human smuggling, the illegal wildlife trade, gems trafficking, trafficking of other drugs and local drugs markets are all prevalent.

The GI-TOC has recently undertaken three detailed investigations into the political economy of these illicit flows and local markets, looking at how recent events like the violence in northern Mozambique and the Covid-19 pandemic are shaping the dynamics of these illicit economies.

This webinar will be introduced by presentations focusing on the following work:

1. A Triangle of Vulnerability: Changing patterns of illicit trafficking off the Swahili coast – looking at the current vulnerabilities and local dynamics of three key sites on the Swahili coast; northern Mozambique, Zanzibar and Comoros.

Presenter: Alastair Nelson

2. A Shallow Flood: The diffusion of heroin in eastern and southern Africa – looking at the spread of heroin from the primary trafficking routes to secondary towns along the routes and the development of local markets and their impact on state development. This presentation will also cover more recent work on the trafficking of methamphetamines along these same routes.

Presenter: Jason Eligh

3. Ongoing research into human smuggling routes along the East Coast of Africa.

Presenter: Lucia Bird


Alastair Nelson is a Senior Analyst with the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. He is a conservationist with 25-years’ experience running project and programs in the Horn of Africa, East and southern Africa. For the last ten years this has included supporting national governments in counter-wildlife trafficking.

Jason Eligh is a Senior Expert at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. He is an illicit drugs trade and policy analyst who has researched, developed and led technical cooperation and assistance initiatives addressing illicit drugs for numerous African and East Asian governments. His expertise focuses on understanding the myriad contexts influencing illicit drug use behaviour and the adaptability and resilience of drug trade environments, particularly as these factors relate to the development and sustainability of harm.

Lucia Bird is a Senior Analyst at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. Lucia researches and writes on a broad range of organised crime types internationally, however her focus to date has been on human smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking and policy, and cyber-crime. Previously, Lucia worked as legal and policy adviser to the Planning and Development Department of the Punjab Government, Pakistan, and before that held the same role at the Ministry of Finance, Ghana

Prof. Adriano Alfredo Nuvunga, Ph.D. is the Director of the Centro para a Democracia e Desenvolvimento (CDD), a Democracy, Governance and Human Rights civil society organization in Mozambique. He is the Chair of the Forum de Monitoria do Orçamento (FMO), a platform of coalitions and organizations focusing on Budget and Public Finance Management. Prof. Nuvunga teaches political science and governance at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the Eduardo Mondlane University
in Maputo, Mozambique. He is the Chair and former Executive Director of the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP).


Lindy Mtongana is a Nairobi-based broadcast journalist, moderator, media trainer, and most recently, freelance podcaster with the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. In a 15 year career, Lindy’s focus on socio-political dynamics across Africa and the continent’s evolving ties with China, has put her at the forefront of regional and international developments.