Africa and the ‘grey market’

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Arms brokering or inter-mediation is a commercial activity within the international arms trade that is difficult to regulate. Arms brokers often operate transnationally, so often escaping or avoiding national trade controls in their home countries and the countries where transactions have taken place. Their transnational operations also create “grey” markets, which sometimes fuel illicit markets. Between a quarter and a third of states claim to have some form of arms brokering regulation but many of those regulations are weak. This is especially a challenge for African countries, which have to import arms, yet lack the capacity to control borders and ports.

Photo credit: Alexis Huguet / AFP