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ACBF holds coordination workshop on capacity building for tobacco control

Harare, Zimbabwe
28 Sep, 2015

Africa should ensure that the current tide of tobacco epidemic is reversed and that future generation suffers less from the harmful effects of tobacco, said Dr Thomas Munthali, Director of Knowledge, Monitoring and Evaluation at the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) during the Foundation’s inaugural annual coordination workshop for ACBF’s sub grantees on Tobacco Control, held on Monday in Harare, Zimbabwe. Twelve (12) tobacco control organizations are taking part in the capacity building workshop, which stretches over five days, ending on 2 October.

Dr Munthali, who was speaking on behalf of ACBF’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie said that the Foundation was committed to a “tobacco free Africa”. “We are in full support of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which was created with this in mind.”

The Foundation, he added, believed that every effort should be made to ensure that people that use tobacco were assisted and encouraged to stop, that potential new smokers were prevented from starting, that exposure to second hand tobacco smoke is prevented and the production and sale of tobacco products is significantly reduced across the continent while building countries’ capacity to venture into viable alternatives to tobacco. “The issue of capacity cannot be ignored. Without capacity, sustainable and beneficial tobacco control and improved public health are not possible,” said Dr Munthali.

There is a need for actors in the field of tobacco control to build capacity to understand the issues at stake; to plan, coordinate and implement initiatives, programs and strategies around tobacco control as well as viable alternatives to tobacco; to learn and innovate through robust monitoring and evaluation systems at institutional and country levels.

The aim of the annual workshop is to equip participating organizations with the competencies necessary to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate their tobacco control activities successfully.

About six million people across the world are currently estimated to die annually from tobacco use. Of these casualties, 10% are attributable to second hand smoking exposure. It is projected that unless substantial action is taken, the number of annual deaths will reach 8 million by 2030. In Africa, tobacco-attributable deaths account for 3% of all deaths. The tobacco industry has been earmarking Africa for market growth and its expansion will foster a tobacco epidemic. This epidemic being at a relatively early stage, it is critical to invest in tobacco control to prevent a large-scale epidemic.

The Bill & Melinda Gate Foundation has availed funding worth $8.5m to the Foundation to advance evidence-based tobacco control policies in Africa. The purpose of that grant is to strengthen African civil society organizations’ (CSOs) capacity to enable strong and well implemented tobacco control policies across the continent and ensure that CSOs work is better coordinated and more targeted.

 

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
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