Work Area: Changing Drug Policy

Drug trafficking and consumption undermines institutions, threatens public health and damages development efforts. The Foundation speaks out on drug policy reform and advocates for evidence – and health-centred approach, with a particular focus on West Africa.


A threat to peace:

  • The yearly value of cocaine transiting through West Africa is at about US$ 1.25 billion – significantly more than the annual national budgets of several countries in the region.1
  • Africa’s drug laws are outdated and have not equipped the continent with effective responses to drug-related problems.1
  • In West Africa, trade in drugs undermines development and fosters corruption.1

Drug bundles found in spare tire.

What we did in 2018:

  • The Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP), the West African Commission on Drugs (WACD), and the Kofi Annan Foundation launched a Model Drug Law in Dakar, Senegal.
  • Over 80 participants, including representatives of West African governments, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and civil society, attended the launch event.
  • The presentation of the law was the culmination of several years of effort by political actors and civil society organisations and represents an unprecedented opportunity for West African states to deal with the challenges drugs pose in their region in a contemporary legal framework.

What we are doing now:

After the launch of the “West African Commission on Drugs” and the model drug law, the Kofi Annan Foundation, with the support of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), is encouraging local civil society actors and the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) to carry the conversation forward.

A warning sign in Penang City, Malaysia that says ‘Warning!! Carrying, trafficking or inserting drugs into your body is an offence under the law.’