OECD Development Co-operation Working Papers

OECD Development Co-operation Working Papers cover work on understanding aid flows, strengthening aid delivery and improving development policy. Topics include, among others, aid statistics and architecture, aid effectiveness, capacity development, development co-operation systems and management, evaluation of development programmes, as well as the relationship between development and trade, conflict and fragility, environment, gender equality, governance and poverty reduction.


Illicit financial flows: Illicit narcotics transiting West Africa

This paper explores the flow of illicit narcotics transiting West Africa. It is divided into four sections, providing an overview of the nature and scope of the illicit narcotic economy, the networks and actors involved and its development impacts, including its resulting illicit financial flows, the movement and impact of those financial flows, both to buy protection and to invest drug profits from West Africa, and finally, it provides concluding remarks that could inform future policy action. The paper is based on a review of the available secondary literature and interviews, and focuses on the cocaine trade due to the preponderance of available information and data compared to other types of drug trafficking. Comparisons or distinctions are also drawn between other illicit narcotics and emerging trends are highlighted where credible evidence is available.


Keywords: illicit financial flows (IFFs), informal economy, West Africa, development, political instability, illicit narcotics, corruption, illicit trade, cocaine trafficking, criminal markets, protection payments
JEL: O55: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Economywide Country Studies: Africa; F63: International Economics / Economic Impacts of Globalization / Economic Impacts of Globalization: Economic Development; K42: Law and Economics / Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior / Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law; O17: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements; Q01: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / General / Sustainable Development
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