Africa faces threats to governance and security from the increasing operations of transnational organized criminal networks. This briefing note seeks, first, to identify the dimensions of the problem; second, to indicate their significance at this time; and third, to define some key questions for discussion at the Forum, in order to enable participants to identify African- led approaches to these issues. Transnational Organized Crime: The Nature of the Problem Transnational organized criminal activities are a threat to African governance and security. They include: Production, trafficking and sale of illegal narcotic drugs; The smuggling of unlawful migrants into Europe; People trafficking, including abduction, enslavement and organ trafficking; Conflict minerals such as diamonds, gold and coltan extracted and sold illegally by insurgents; Maritime piracy; Unlawful trade in weapons; Trade in counterfeit products such as cigarettes; Money-laundering and financial extortion and deception. These activities fuel corruption and in some cases contribute to violence. However, we should be aware that there is no automatic link between organized crime and political violence. While the profits from drug production have funded insurgencies in countries such as Colombia and Afghanistan, international drugs traders do not, in general, support rebel groups—they prefer to bribe government officials.