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Contribution to Book
The Anatomy of Ghana's Secret Arms Industry
Armed and Aimless: Armed Groups, Guns, and Human Security in the ECOWAS Region (2005)
  • Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, Kennesaw State University
Although craft small arms production is present throughout West Africa, Ghana’s long-standing and socially embedded gun-making tradition make it a country of particular concern. Guns ‘made in Ghana’ are now known regionally for their competitive prices, their effectiveness, and their accessibility—thus raising concerns that they might one day represent a significant source of weaponry for armed groups. Indeed, some local blacksmiths now possess the requisite know-how to copy imported AK-47 assault rifles This chapter documents the extent, nature, and effects of Ghanaian craft small arms production, and discusses existing and potential responses. It is divided into three main sections. The first section seeks to measure the scope of the activity at the national level, and identifies trends in the production process and the various actors involved. It also highlights the national and regional implications of gunsmithing, paying particular attention to smuggling across borders and criminal use. The second section maps small arms production in selected towns in the country’s ten regions, and seeks to identify critical areas for intervention. The last section provides an assessment of existing responses to the problem. It reviews the relevant legislation and government policies, and concludes by discussing alternative civil society-led approaches.
  • west africa,
  • firearms production,
  • ghana,
  • security issues
Publication Date
May, 2005
Nicolas Florquin and Eric G. Berman
Small Arms Survey
Citation Information
Emmanuel Kwesi Aning. "The Anatomy of Ghana's Secret Arms Industry" GenevaArmed and Aimless: Armed Groups, Guns, and Human Security in the ECOWAS Region (2005)
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