In a panel discussion on 9 May at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa in Abuja, Nigeria, Anton du Plessis, Managing Director of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), advised world leaders on the threat that transnational organised crime poses to the development of fragile states in Africa.
In the discussion, themed ‘Fragility today, prosperity tomorrow,’ Du Plessis debated how development strategies can restore peace and security with co-panellists including Kofi Annan and the President of Algeria's National Assembly Mohamed Khelifa. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan opened and closed the session and played an active role in the debates with the panellists and fellow African heads of state in the audience.
‘Transnational organised crime is the elephant in the room. It’s a politically charged topic because it finds itself at the intersection of law, politics, power and sovereignty,’ du Plessis explains. ‘But we must speak about it because organised crime poses a growing risk to progress in fragile states, and must be addressed head on’.
There is broad agreement in the development sector that trust in governments and institutions is central to restoring peace and building prosperous societies. Organised crime, says Du Plessis, does exactly the opposite. ‘It subverts the rule of law, criminalises governance, and fuels corruption that allows criminals to control the political marketplace through illicit rents’.
Earlier this year, Du Plessis was selected as a WEF Young Global Leader and is currently the Vice-Chair of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Terrorism. At the Abuja summit this week, Du Plessis was also a discussion leader in the session on ‘Shaping inclusive growth in Africa,’ along with former UK prime minister Gordon Brown and Frannie Léautier, CEO of Mkoba Private Equity Fund in Tanzania.