SAAPA to hold annual regional forum in Botswana

The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) kicks off its annual regional forum today in Gaborone, Botswana. The forum will be a three-day event taking place from 1 to 3 December 2014. The theme of the conference is Celebrate, understand, review and build.

Botswana has made great strides in advocating for improved alcohol policy development. The country’s President, Lieutenant General Sereste Khama Ian Khama’s is a strong and vocal advocate for alcohol policy development in his country and has taken many groundbreaking steps to address alcohol misuse which he has identified as a threat to Botswana’s welfare and development. His commitment to the eradication of alcohol-related harm has resulted in the development and implementation of Botswana’s National Strategic Framework for Combating Alcohol Abuse. This framework created the platform for government to address alcohol- related harm by   increasing public education and awareness campaigns, and proactive efforts to promote alcohol free youth activities , limiting marketing and advertising of alcohol in sports activities and improving  enforcements of legislation which promotes decreasing access to  and use of alcohol.

Savera Kalideen, Chairperson of SAAPA said, “The Government of Botswana and his Excellency’s support and action to reduce alcohol related harm and implementation of a levy on alcohol has contributed to a significant reduction in alcohol consumption in Botswana. At the same time, state revenue has increased because of the alcohol levy. This is an African example of positive policy and implementation that has shown results; and that countries in the region and beyond can learn from.

Attendees will be regional, continental and international guests including representatives from the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA). The forum will this year focus on sharing experiences of alcohol policy development and lobbying, learning from the Botswana experience and reviewing lessons from other sectors such as tobacco. 

For more information contact:
Savera Kalideen
Chairperson SAAPA
071 227 0939?

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