- The United Nations has launched the West Africa Coast Initiative to fight orgnaised crime and drug trafficking in the west African region. More than $1 billion worth of cocaine transits through the region annually, according to UN.
The new initiative seeks to address West Africa’s porous borders, weak governance and corruption, which have allowed drug traffickers to operate in a climate of impunity.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) latest report said organised crime, trafficking in human beings, counterfeit drugs, toxic wastes and even natural resources is arresting development in the region.
It said in other states, the value of trafficked goods and drugs exceeds the gross domestic product (GDP) of West African nations.
UNODC Executive Director, Antonio Maria Costa, said the new initiative will focus on post-conflict situations like Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone among other West African states, saying if democratic elections can be held soon in Guinea, it, too, will be added to the list of nations.
Earlier this week, the UN chief, Ban Ki-moon said drug trafficking, sea piracy and the proliferation of small arms continues to affect the safety of the west African countries despite positive developments in political dispensation.
UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa Said Djinnit said the already fragile democracy in most west African countries has been exacerbated by drug trafficking and organised crime.
The initiative is a partnership between UNODC, UNOWA and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), along with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Interpol.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
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afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.