Understanding the Nexus between Human Security and Small Arms in Africa: The Case of Ghana

Kwesi Aning

in Protecting Human Security in Africa

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199578986
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595202 | DOI:
Understanding the Nexus between Human Security and Small Arms in Africa: The Case of Ghana

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Ghana has had a turbulent political history with frequent military interventions in domestic politics. While such disruptions have always ended with a return to democratic governance, the militarization of politics has also had an unintended side effect, namely the militarization of sections of Ghanaian society. This chapter discusses how small arms and light weapons (SALW) availability potentially threatens human security in Ghana, and analyses the different perceptions between the state and the people about the lethality of SALW. It argues that the extent of the challenges posed by SALW is best understood by evaluating the nature and dimensions of SALW-related crimes. It discusses contemporary crime trends in Ghana and profiles perpetrators by exploring the sources of SALW flows and its impact on the economy. Furthermore, the chapter examines the legal framework governing SALW availability, import controls, and government responses. Due to the sensitivity and politicization of SALW issues in Ghana and the broader West African sub-region, the chapter also discusses the challenges of undertaking SALW-related research in Ghana and concludes with avenues and options for policy engagement.

Keywords: Ghana; weapons proliferation; small arms; light weapons; human security; crime

Chapter.  8587 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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