Wednesday, January 27, 2016

COMING UP!> Ep.59 of "Africa in Focus" Show on 27 January, 2016: Africa's Preparations Towards UN General Assembly Special Session(UNGASS)

We want to use this edition of "Africa in Focus" to revisit the very important issue of drug policy and Africa's preparations towards the special session of the UN General Assembly that will be held in April.

Known as UNGASS, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for African countries to help craft and shape the agenda on drug policy.

The literature is clear that the war on drugs has caused more casualties than necessary, and the whole semantics of "war" has conjured an image of "Us vs Them" typical in any war.

Kofi Annan believes bad policies on drug policies has caused more harm. But he is not the only one.

An increasing number of civil society activists, starting with the Accra-based West Africa Civil Society Institute, have, since 2015, embarked on a campaign to ensure the debate on drug policy and Africa' s preparation towards it is open, transparent, and clear: as law enforcement does its work to catch drug-traffickers, drug policy should be treated as a public health issue.

Furthermore, drug users who may have found themselves trapped in the spiral of drugs must be equally treated with dignity so as to ensure they are weaned of its deleterious effects. This attempt at harm-reduction, while controversial, will go a long way in framing the future of drug policy.

To this end, I will be speaking on 27 January with Maria-Goretti Ane, who is a consultant for the International Drug Policy Consortium(IDPC). She will brief us on what transpired at last week's Regional Consultation on Drug Policy Reform in West Africa here in Accra.

Apart from unpacking the outcomes of the conference, we want to especially demystify drug policy for listeners and explore what Kofi Annan Foundation's West Africa Commission on Drugs has done so well for which reason even East Africa is interested in establishing a similar Commission.

Join us at 14h05!

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