Rumbi Matamba El Hadj Djitteye Gideon Ofosu-Peasah Lyes Tagziria

Nuancing the conflict/crime nexus: Illicit Economies that fuel conflict in West Africa

A Talk by Rumbi Matamba , El Hadj Djitteye , Lyes Tagziria and Dr. Gideon Ofosu-Peasah

About this Talk

This session will revolve around understanding the relationship between illicit economies and instability, relationship that has often been misunderstood and oversimplified. The focus has often been on illicit economies as drivers of violence as key elements of the war economy, financing armed groups and perpetuating conflict. While this is not incorrect, the relationship between illicit economies and instability is more nuanced and complex. Some illicit economies, such as arms trafficking, cattle rustling and kidnappings have a particularly strong nexus with instability and have been categorized as “accelerant markets” by GI-TOC illicit hub mapping research in West Africa. This is because these three markets in particular are vectors of instability, and instability fuels these illicit markets in return. Finally, some illicit economies, while driving instability through financing of armed groups for example, are also a source of livelihood for communities, including in fragile context, hence providing a certain degree of stability – the artisanal gold market is one important regional example of this. Understanding the nuance of the crime-conflict nexus in West Africa is key to to prioritize specific areas for targeted action to respond to illicit economies, and avoid counterproductive strategies that fail to recognize the stability that can be derived from some illicit economies. This session will share new, granular data on the dynamics of illicit markets of kidnapping, cattle rustling and artisanal gold mining in West Africa, focusing on their intersections with conflict actors, including violent extremist groups, and bandits.

18 October 2023, 08:30 PM

08:30 PM - 09:45 PM

About The Speakers

Rumbi Matamba

Rumbi Matamba


El Hadj Djitteye

El Hadj Djitteye

Founder & Executive Director of the Timbuktu Center fro Strategic Studies on the Sahel

Founder & Executive Director the Timbuktu Center| Conflict Security Stabilization Violent Extremism Researcher| Sahel Expert| Policy Analyst|

Lyes Tagziria

Lyes Tagziria

Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime

Senior Analyst in the Observatory of Illicit Economies in West Africa, GI-TOC

Gideon Ofosu-Peasah

Dr. Gideon Ofosu-Peasah

Analyst, GITOC

Dr. Gideon Ofosu-Peasah, a GI-TOC analyst, specializes in extractive governance in West Africa and organized crime in Ghana. He served as a steering committee member for the Media Coalition against Illegal Mining and coordinated the Civil Society Working Group for Ghana's first oil licensing round.