African organised crime is not all the same thing

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The critical issue is not where organised criminal markets are the strongest, but where the response from the state is the weakest or most compromised.

Researchers on organised crime in Africa, are often asked where on the continent the problem is the most serious.

Implicit in that question is where internal and external prioritisation should occur if the issue is to be addressed adequately. The question is fair, but hard to answer. It requires understanding that organised crime encompasses different forms of criminal behaviour, and these have different impacts on the continent.

Broadly, there are four types of organised crime in the African context. They are all evolving in different ways – and there is some overlap between them. They also impact the continent and its citizens differently, and arguably this is what should determine where organised crime is most serious.

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