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ACBF intensifies fight against tobacco menace

At its 2022 edition of the annual Coordination Workshop of the Tobacco Control Program Sub-grantees, the ACBF said a robust visionary and transformative leadership is needed in the tobacco control campaign.

The five-day workshop, which began on Monday, among other things, is intended to enhance the knowledge and skills of ACBF supported partners in its campaign against the smoking menace.

It comes backdrop of an ongoing tobacco control program which, according to the ACBF, “requires an adequate institutional capacity of implementing agencies”.

It involves experts, government officials and distinguished representatives of participating organisations who will spend the next few days to share ideas and brainstorm to advance the fight against Tobacco use in Africa.

Speaking at the opening of the event in Accra, the ACBF Director of Programs and Director of West and Central Africa Office Professor Sylvain Boko said it has become imperative to hold the training because its 2014 to 2018 report calls for “strategic direction”.

“it is worth noting that this training takes place against the backdrop of the ongoing tobacco control program which requires an adequate institutional capacity of implementing agencies considered as a must if we want to ensure the sustainability of efforts and achieve impactful results,” he said.

“The training is conducted because our end of project evaluation for the first phase of the tobacco control program shows that governing boards of supported partners need to be strengthened in terms of membership to BARCO control knowledge and capacity to provide strategic direction.”

Themed “Enhanced skills in Government and Leadership”, the 2022 annual training of the Tobacco Control program comes at a period statistics are pointing to a scary phenomenon of Tobacco damage to African youth.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, Africa is experiencing an increasing rate of tobacco use. The fast growth of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa and an increase in consumer purchasing power are leading to larger and more accessible markets in Africa. In addition to that, there are intensive efforts by the tobacco industry to expand African markets.

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world, the report adds.

13 million women in Africa use tobacco products, including chewing tobacco and snuff with 13% of young adolescent girls using tobacco products, the WHO says.

In the African Region, 44 countries have ratified or acceded to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. They are however faced with the challenge of Strengthening the implementation of the convention.

The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) since its formation in 1991 has spearheaded and robustly coordinated capacity development programs worth some 800 million US dollars across 48 countries and 8 regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa.

It has been holding the coordination workshop of the tobacco control program sub-grantees every year.

According to Professor Boko, the 2022 workshop is aimed at strengthening the capacity to enhance the effective delivery of the program and provides a golden platform for partnering with other institutions, especially for the civil society organisations

“The objective is really to strengthen the capacity of those organisations we partner with in terms of leadership, in terms of governance,” he said.

“This is to provide them with the proper vision, proper capacity to be able to lead their respective organisation in such a way that it encompasses all the factors that are going to be necessary to have a successful impact on the reduction of tobacco use.”

As the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development following over 31 years of solid work, the Foundation is best placed to advise and support African countries, regional economic communities and institutions on decisive steps to take to develop the practical skills urgently required for the continent’s economic transformation.


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