Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and Transnational Crime in Africa

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This paper analyses the role of the arms trade in the growth and spread of transnational crime in Africa. The work shows that the proliferation and ready availability of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) on the continent is contributing in no small measure to political, economic and social insecurity in Africa. Major transnational crimes that the work identifies in Africa include drug trafficking, human and people trafficking, environmental crimes, arms trafficking and stolen vehicle trafficking. The work uses qualitative research methodology, which involves the extensive collection, collation and analysis of secondary data, to capture the essence and scope of the impacts of SALW on the growth and spread of transnational crime on the continent. A major and significant contribution of the work is the crucial connection that it establishes between the proliferation of SALW and the high incidence and recurrence of transnational crime in Africa. The work shows the destabilizing impacts of the proliferation of SALW in Africa and how these is contributing to the recurrence of conflicts and criminal activities on the continent. In its conclusion, the work recommends that in order for states on the continent to be able to proactively tackle transnational crime and the proliferation of SALW, they will have to do the following: carry-out an extensive and critical survey to create a database that will identify the nature of the different transnational crime that is carried-out in each regions; create (where it does not exist) and, strengthen and implement (where it exist) legislations and laws designed to tackle transnational crime; and encourage interagency cooperation and coordination among the affected states in the regions.

About the authors

Adewunmi James Falode

Lagos State University

Lagos, Nigeria
PhD, Department of History and International Studies


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