UNODC commemorates the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and launch the World Drug Report 2022 in Abidjan

With 400 million people aged from 15 to 35, Africa is the continent with the youngest population of the world. In Africa, people under 35 represent the majority of persons being treated for drug use disorders, as highlighted by the 2022 World Drug Report 2022. During the regional launch of the report in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, UNODC underlined that in West and Central Africa, 9.7% of the population aged 15-64 used cannabis in 2020 and 2.4% used pharmaceutical opioids for non-medical purposes, with global estimates of 3.8% and 1.2% respectively.

This year, the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa celebrated the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Abidjan, with a focus on Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises, in close coordination with national authorities and through a stronger partnership with the Comité interministériel de lutte anti-drogue (CILAD). During an official ceremony with the Minister of the Interior and Security of Côte d'Ivoire on Monday, June 27, UNODC presented the key findings of the World Drug Report 2022 in the region.

“In a context of health and humanitarian crises, West and Central Africa must continue to invest in data collection and analysis, disaggregated by sex and age, to strengthen early warning and evidence-based responses,” said Dr. Amado Philip de Andrés, UNODC Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

The production, trafficking and abuse of drugs and illicit substances pose public health, development and security challenges to every country in the world. Long considered a mere transit zone, West and Central Africa is hard hit by the drug problem. In the region, estimates of cannabis and pharmaceutical opioid use are higher than global averages. Côte d'Ivoire, like many other West African coastal countries, is facing a growing influx of drugs from Latin America, as evidenced by the seizure of almost 6 tons of cocaine off the coast of Abidjan in March 2021, and more recently 2 tons and 57 kilos in April 2022.

“The Ivorian authorities remain committed to combating the consumption and trafficking of drugs, with the support of UNODC, as demonstrated by the drafting of the bill relating to the fight against trafficking and illicit use of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, as well as the national strategy against organized crime," said General Vagondo Diomandé, Minister of Interior and Security of Côte d'Ivoire.

More than 250 participants attended the event, including the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for West Africa and the Sahel, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Côte d'Ivoire, the Secretary General of CILAD, the Regional Director of UNODC in West and Centra Africa, as well as Diplomatic missions in Côte d'Ivoire. The event was also broadcast online, and a press conference was held at the end of the ceremony.


To read the report

To watch the regional launch of the World Drug Report 2022 in West and Central Africa

To read the press release