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WHO Tobacco control for development initiative – more countries in Africa and elsewhere to benefit

06 Apr, 2017

 The Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) has published a list of 15 countries to receive support for the implementation of the FCTC under the FCTC 2030 Project which aims at implementing the FCTC to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The importance of tobacco control in promoting development is recognized in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including two targets under Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and wellbeing. These are target 3.a on full implementation of the WHO FCTC, and target 3.4 on reduction by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases. Tobacco control will play an important role in achieving the SDGs.

According to information available on the WHO website, the FCTC 2030 project  is an initiative aiming  to support Parties to the WHO FCTC that are eligible to receive official development assistance (ODA) to achieve the SDGs by advancing implementation of the Convention. The project will run from April 2017 until March 2021.

A call had been made by the Secretariat of the Convention and 55 parties to the FCTC responded. The selection committee consisted of the Secretariat of the Convention, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), WHO and the donor of the initiative. Selection of countries was guided by specific criteria, among which we have:

  • Ambition to accelerate implementation of the WHO FCTC, particularly the WHO FCTC time-bound measures;
  • Intention to strengthen tobacco taxation;
  • Readiness to accelerate implementation of the WHO FCTC, particularly through a commitment to multisectoral action and the full implementation of the obligations under Article 5 of the WHO FCTC;
  • Understanding of the development dimensions of WHO FCTC implementation and how this will benefit achievement of the SDGs;
  • Desire to receive the type of technical implementation assistance being offered through the project;
  • A willingness to undertake, or have already taken part in a WHO FCTC Needs Assessment;
  • Payment of WHO FCTC assessed contributions, or a commitment to do so in line with Conference of the Parties decision FCTC/COP7(23)

Below is the list of 15 countries selected and published by the Convention Secretariat :

Cabo Verde

El Salvador







Sierra Leone



Sri Lanka





Through the FCTC 2030 project, the Convention Secretariat will provide intensive support up to 15 selected countries through provision of direct, demand-driven expert advices, technical assistance and peer support to build domestic capacity to improve tobacco control in line with available resources. This support will also include workshops, toolkits, online training on tobacco control, south-south and triangular cooperation, and other forms of assistance to national governments to accelerate treaty implementation.

Countries will be offered support to implement the WHO FCTC, including treaty obligations to ban tobacco advertising and promotion, to require effective health warnings on tobacco packaging, implement smoke-free work and public places, increase tobacco taxation and protect public health policies from tobacco industry interference.

This initiative will definitely boost the implementation of the FCTC for the achievements of the SDGs in the African region and countries not selected are not being left behind because, according to the Convention Secretariat, they will be able to benefit from various supports within the framework of this project.

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