PRETORIA – The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (HAWKS) is pleased to announce the hosting of the inaugural African Multilateral Drug Enforcement Summit with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Pretoria, South Africa.
The first-ever meeting of its kind, brought together officers from the leading counter-narcotics agencies throughout Africa. American counter-narcotics professionals also formed part of this momentous event for strategic discussions on how best to stop the most prolific traffickers operating on the African continent and globally. The meeting started on Tuesday and concluded on Wednesday this week.
Through improved and better-coordinated multilateral efforts, the meeting seeked to eliminate illicit drug trafficking, money laundering, and narco-terrorism. By fostering stronger coordination among the participating organizations and ensuring no shelter is provided for transnational criminal organizations operating in Africa and communities across the continent in a bid to ensure safety in the world.
DEA Regional Director Andre Kellum reconfirmed DEA’s commitment to the African continent, saying “we appreciate the opportunity to join this meeting and to find new and more effective ways to work with our African partners to combat those who peddle harmful substances, promote violence, and support narco-terrorism.”
He praised the efforts of the South Africa Police Service National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole and the Hawks Acting National Head Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata and the NDLEA for hosting such an significant event, adding, “the U.S. remains dedicated to our partners and friends across Africa and will continue to work side by side with them to realize the promise of a more peaceful, more productive, and a more prosperous 21st century Africa.”
The acting National Head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Matakata affirmed that the increasing global footprint of crime shows that geographical boundaries are no longer serious restrictions when it comes to the scale and impact of crime.
“Faced with such complex issues, our law enforcement agencies cannot work in isolation. This summit was crucial to forge strong networks of collaboration, to pool and influence each other’s resources, cultivate meaningful expertise and create innovative regulating answers.
“On the same breath, the same partnership is required at different levels given the gradually increase in transnational crime and this will help all of to ensure rapid response in the detection, alleviating and investigation of any impending dangers or threats.
“We must take advantage of collaboration opportunities that have presented themselves from information sharing, training, capacity building, training and development. The DPCI strongly supports the need for continuous innovation, and recognizes the value of a multi-stakeholder approach to drive innovation,” she concluded.