African countries should work together to fight crime syndicates

May 24, 2014

Regional cooperation should be increased to address a rise in transnational crimes across Africa. There is a lot that need to be done on sharing information, cutting red tape and extraditing fugitives. Technocrats and government advisors need to come up with an intensive and effective cooperation and communications scheme between institutions. Africa need to improve cooperation in data and information exchange related to law enforcement, accelerate the bureaucratic process, improve assets tracking, joint investigation and extradition of international criminals. Continental crime syndicates are adopting more sophisticated technology and working in smaller cells, which made them harder to track. Transnational crime networks has been cited as the one allowing terrorist and separatist groups that have mushroomed all over the continent to benefit from dealing in narcotics and human trafficking. Technological and economic growth, combined with established transportation networks across the continent is allowing the syndicates to expand to worrying levels. African countries are particularly at risk to transnational crime because of its geography and porous borders.

The continent faces crimes such as distribution of illegal narcotics, human trafficking, terrorism, corruption and other organized crimes controlled by non-state actors. This phenomenon, mainly manifesting itself as cross-border crime, has eroded public safety, threatened individual countries national security and has the potential to disrupt each country’s sovereignty and threaten stability of economic development. I think better cooperation between law enforcers in different countries could help curb transnational crime. Improving cooperation between law enforcement institutions, mainly to track, to freeze, to confiscate and to return assets stolen by organized transnational crime would a step in the right direction. Research has shown that criminals in Africa always try to take advantage of the different legal systems prevailing in each country to evade prosecution. Some have been found to forge documents to go overseas and hide their ill-gotten assets from proceeds of corruption abroad making it difficult for law enforcers to catch up to them and there has been call for greater cooperation. In present world, crime is international, and those in charge need to look at the international system and ensure African countries have to cooperate amongst them to be able to fight crime in an effective way.

Contador Harrison