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ACBF & Gates Foundation partners lay groundwork for next phase of tobacco control

Harare, Zimbabwe
25 Nov, 2014

The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and Campaign for Tobacco Free kids (CTFK) are advancing coordination of the Tobacco Control Project across Africa funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The three Gates Foundation partners met from the 24th-25th of November and agreed that coordination and effective implementation of tobacco control will take a prominent place in the second phase of the project.

During the two day sessions, the partners agreed on an effective mechanism for work at country level, developed a joint reporting tool and agreed to develop a monthly calendar of key activities as well as to hold regular calls to discuss their plans and progress at country and regional levels.  

The meeting served as a platform for the partners to gain a better appreciation of each organization's role in tobacco control; share work plans and deliverables as well as priority countries of focus and partners at country and regional levels.

ACBF, as the host of the first coordination meeting, recommended that the partners build their relationship for tobacco control based on trust, transparency and communication. They were also encouraged to build on each other’s comparative advantage and competence. These outcomes will ensure coordination for effective implementation of tobacco control in Africa by avoiding duplication of activities and mismanagement of resources.

Last week, the Gates Foundation officially released a communiqué announcing their commitment of more than US $32 million to support governments and Civil Society Organizations to implement tobacco control policies and programs in order to reduce tobacco use.

Under this funding, ACBF will support strategic grant-making and capacity building of the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa,  the University of Cape Town and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to advance evidence-based Tobacco Control policies in Africa including tobacco taxation, advertising bans, graphic warning labels, and smoke-free environments. The CSOs will be drawn from Uganda, Kenya, Mauritania, Botswana, Ethiopia, Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana, Niger, Benin, Gabon and the Gambia.

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Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana