The Observatory of Illicit Economies in West Africa, established in 2021, encompasses researchers working across wider West Africa and the Sahel. The Observatory works to shed light on the political economy of transnational organized crime in the region, focusing on the links between illicit markets, instability and conflict. The Observatory applies a partnership approach, working with and supporting civil society across the region. As part of this, the Observatory maps the hubs, routes and flows of illicit markets, and the key actors, assessing their implications for regional stability, conflict, governance and social tension in the region. The countries falling within the scope of the observatory are Nigeria, Central African Republic, Mali, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Cameroon, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Senegal, Togo, Benin, Cabo Verde, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Chad.



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