West and Central Africa is affected by a combination of factors making it vulnerable to illicit trafficking, organized crime, terrorism and drug abuse. This is notable due to its geographic location, mid‐way between South-America and Europe, porous national borders, long coastline as well as its weak public service infrastructure. Many countries in the region have vast territory and borders are located either in very remote or densely populated areas thus making enforcement activities particularly difficult to conduct in an efficient manner.
The issue of cross-border criminal activities, such as trafficking in drugs, persons, firearms and cigarettes, terrorism and money-laundering is often linked to persons or organizations located well beyond the African continent.
In addition to promoting capacity‐building at the national level, UNODC will make full use of its comparative advantage to ensure a cross‐border and integrated approach in the fight against illicit trafficking and organized crime, including the global dimension of addressing transnational trafficking routes by:
- Enhancing border management capacities across the region at strategic locations
- Improving national and cross‐border coordination between law enforcement agencies
- Strengthening the capacities to collect, analyze and disseminate information
- Improving skills to detect fraudulent and fraudulently obtained travel documents
- Fostering international collaboration to conduct cross‐border investigations and better exchange of information between consular offices abroad