Africa remains a major supplier of cannabis and cannabis resin to rapi-dly-growing domestic markets and to Europe and North America, despite some eradication efforts and significant seizures in some countries of the continent.
A statement released recently in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, by the United Nations (un) Infor-mation Centre (unic) said that drug abuse and trafficking continued to rise in Africa in a climate of "tolerance".
"Some seaports and airports have become major transit centres for cocaine from South America destined for Europe, and for heroin from Asia en route to Europe and North America," the unic statement said, pointing out that drug abuse was also on the rise in the big cities of the continent.
Highlighting an apparent rise in tolerance for the illicit drug culture, the unic statement said that drug use and abuse in certain circles had gained acceptability. "Whereas the 80s were characterised by the belief that destruction of the mind and body throughout deliberate drug use for non-medical purposes was wrong, the pendulum has now swung back," the report said.
"Once again, drug abuse appears to be almost normal, even fashionable and this is evident in many areas of the society, for instance, in popular music, fashion, entertainment industry and certain sections of the media," the unic report pointed out. The statement said that the startling and worrying trends were included in the 1997 annual report of the Inter-national Narcotics Control Board, which was officially released on February 24 by the Nairobi-based regional office for east and southern Africa of the un Inter-national Drug Control Programme.