West-Afrika dwaalt in de war on drugs

ACCRA – Een recente schatting door het Office for National Statistics van het Verenigd Koninkrijk dat de markt voor illegale drugs 4,4 miljard pond toevoegt aan de economie van het land geeft een indruk van de verbazingwekkende schaal van de illegale drugshandel. Voor regio’s zoals West-Afrika, met economieën die noch zo groot noch zo ontwikkeld zijn als Engeland kan de impact van zulke activiteiten zelfs nog schadelijker zijn.

West-Afrika vindt zichzelf steeds meer verwikkeld in de mondiale drugshandel. De locatie ervan maakt het kwetsbaar om geëxploiteerd te worden als transitpunt tussen de Latijns-Amerikaanse en Aziatische productiecentra en de consumentenmarkten in Europa en de Verenigde Staten.

Maar zoals de ervaring van Centraal-Amerika laat zien dienen transitlanden niet alleen maar als corridor voor drugs. Illegale drugs en het geld dat ze omringt penetreren en destabiliseren de  maatschappij. Deze verontrustende ontwikkeling (een bijproduct van de mislukte ‘mondiale war on drugs’) dreigt de recente economische en sociale winsten in onze regio’s te verstoren.

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