West African countries have been seriously affected by the illicit trafficking in recent years. The number and scale of these criminal activities seriously threaten any efforts to stabilize and develop political and social institutions in the region. Such forms of transnational organized crime can only be fought by proactive and well-coordinated law enforcement agencies, utilizing all the information and resources available within a country, as well as international forms of operational cooperation.

However, international, regional and cross-border communication and coordination in the fight against organized crime suffer from a lack of national coordination. Different factors worsen this situation, including language difficulties, rivalries between countries, the absence of contact points, lack of clear communication guidelines and instructions, and lack of technical communication means. At the same time, most law enforcement agencies face serious constraints regarding the investigation of transnational crime, including insufficient knowledge and resources to properly collect information on these criminal activities.


In order to develop a comprehensive multi-stakeholder approach to support the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan, UNODC and its partners UNOWAS, the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), DPKO and INTERPOL have agreed to work together to address the growing problem of drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa.

WACI is a joint technical assistance framework aimed at:

  • Enhancing national enforcement and justice institutions; and to build capacity for better national, regional and international enforcement cooperation
  • Creating Transnational Organized Crime Units (TCUs) for national inter-agency enforcement coordination, information exchange and intelligence gathering, and serving as the entry and support point for regional and international enforcement operations
  • Increasing regional and national capacity-building, primarily in vulnerable countries, as identified by ECOWAS (Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone)
  • Contributing to security sector reform in the WACI countries

Additional Information

Transnational Crime Units (TCUs)