By Augustine Ehikioya
To check organised crime in Africa, the Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI) has called for increased collaboration among institutions.
The National President of AANI, Ambassador Emmanuel Obi Okafor, made the call at the opening ceremony of a two-day international symposium on countering organised crime in Africa, held at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja.
This was contained in a statement by the AANI National Publicity Secretary, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman (rtd), who is the Sarkin Yakin Kanwan Katsina. It was made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA).
According to the statement, Ambassador Okafor, who was the chairman of the occasion, highlighted the timeliness and importance of the symposium’s theme, emphasizing its “relevance to the survival and prosperity of Africa.”
He underscored the urgent need to address the challenges posed by organised crime, citing issues within Nigeria and throughout Africa.
He noted that these challenges are often “exacerbated by weak institutions, a lack of collaboration, poor planning, inadequate management, insufficient accountability, and inadequate involvement of stakeholders, which subsequently lead to stunted economic growth, poverty, unemployment, and insecurity.”
The AANI President therefore harped on the necessity of developing a robust agenda aimed at establishing strong and resilient institutions and enhanced collaboration that can effectively counter organised crimes, provide remedies for victims, and ensure accountability.
He reiterated that strong institutions are the bedrock of tackling organised crime effectively.
Commending the symposium’s organizers, the Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch, Ambassador Okafor maintained that the insecurity resulting from organised crime hinders economic growth and integration across Africa.
He applauded the symposium’s focus on building relevant, resilient, and sustainable institutions to address this pressing issue.
Ambassador Okafor also emphasized that organised crime is a global challenge, requiring a “coordinated response from various stakeholders, including security agencies, governments, and the media.”
He highlighted the need for holistic approaches, encompassing law enforcement, prevention, community engagement, socio-economic development, and advocacy, to address root causes of organised crime and promote value reorientation.
He urged for the adoption of advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and data analytics to enhance law enforcement capabilities and cross-border cooperation against organized crime in Africa.
The AANI President also disclosed the organization’s ongoing efforts in advocacy and sensitization to promote attitudinal change, accountability, and good governance in Nigeria.
He said that AANI is committed to partnering with organizations like the Centre for Transparency and Integrity Watch and other NGOs to provide indigenous solutions to emerging developmental challenges such as organised crime in Africa.
Concluding, he reiterated call on all African countries to confront organised crime head-on, prioritizing long-term stability, inclusive development, poverty reduction, and governance enhancement.
He encouraged stakeholders to commit to collaborative efforts, ensuring the rule of law and fostering a secure and prosperous future for the people of Africa.
“The Alumni Association of the National Institute, comprising accomplished individuals who have graduated from the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, is dedicated to promoting national development, and unity, and advancing Nigeria’s interests,” the statement stated.