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ACBF to support CTCA on tobacco control in Africa

30 Oct, 2014

The Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA) with support from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) is set to roll out a tobacco control project that will build the capacity of select African governments in coming up with tobacco control policies in the next three years.

At a two days meeting on 29-30 October at the ACBF’s secretariat in Harare, Zimbabwe, the ACBF finalized on CTCA’s appraisal process by approving the project design. CTCA will implement the project in Botswana, Ethiopia, and Gabon, Niger and The Gambia and minimal support to ongoing work on tobacco control in Angola, Kenya, Mauritania, Uganda and South Africa.

The project will address the inadequate capacity for tobacco control and will support governments in implementing evidence-based tobacco control strategies with an aim of reducing tobacco consumption in Africa.

ACBF’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie said the Foundation was committed to capacity building beyond a single grant to a program that reduces negative effects of tobacco use.

CTCA Director Prof. William Bazeyo, who is also the Dean of the Makerere University School of Public Health where CTCA is hosted, said he looked forward to the partnership and future opportunities in capacity building on health in Africa.

The award to CTCA is part of the funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to support tobacco control capacity building for governments, Civil Society Organizations in Africa and the University of Cape Town. A grant signing for the project is set to take place later this month.

The tobacco epidemic in Africa is at a relatively early stage and it is therefore critical to invest in tobacco control to prevent a large-scale epidemic.  To control the escalation of the tobacco epidemic requires that governments and leaders, with the support of civil societies and international organizations collaborate in their work.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that smoking causes about 71% of lung cancer, 42% of chronic respiratory disease, 20% of global tuberculosis incidence and nearly 10% of cardiovascular diseases. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death among adults. 6 million deaths occur globally every year due to tobacco use and 10% of the deaths are due to exposure to tobacco smoke alone.

Currently, the prevalence of tobacco smokers among the youth in African countries ranges from 8% to 43% for boys and 5% to 30% for girls. The number of smokers in Africa is however expected to more than double, from 84 million in 2000 to 208 million by 2030, if nothing is done (WHO, 2008). This partnership for tobacco control therefore presents a major opportunity to prevent further increases in tobacco use.

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