About this Talk
Over the past decade, a strong and unifying narrative has developed to characterize drug markets and related problems in Africa. Although documented to some extent, the idea of a region being only a transit point of the global drug markets not only misses to consider the specificities of drug related issues in each country of the continent, but also categorizes the multidimensional realities of drug-related phenomenon into a small grid of interpretation. Multiple factors contributed to forge this narrative. One of the main ones relates to the limited access and/or lack of accurate, quality data and diversely sourced information, strongly linked to a long history of straitjacket, repressive drug control models.
This panel presents the research, fieldwork and policy analyses undertaken by young and established scholars from the continent and beyond, who contributed to the forthcoming Special Issue of the Journal of Illicit Economies and Development (JIED) dedicated to Africa drugs markets and policies. Bringing academic and field insights, the JIED Special Issue hopes to bring into light more nuanced perspectives on drug-related issues and phenomenon across the region. The discussion it opens, questions the need to rewrite the narratives on drugs in Africa, adopting a more people-centered and multidimensional reading of the drug-related realities, challenges, and policy responses ahead.