The 2023 WAAPA Global Alcohol Action Plan Advocacy Tour in Senegal 14th -16th November 2023
At a CSOs workshop on the Global Alcohol Action Plan in Senegal, Mr. Issah Ali; Head of WAAPA Secretariat highlighted the key elements of the “African Regional Framework for Implementing the Global Alcohol Action Plan, 2022-2023”. He shed more light on the current situation on alcohol, issues and challenges, vision, goal, objectives, targets of the framework, guiding principles, priority intervention and actions of implementing the framework of the Global Alcohol Action Plan (GAAP) 2022-2023 in the WHO African Region.
Mr. Ali highlighted that Alcohol is a toxic and psychoactive substance with dependence-producing properties and accounts for 5.1% of all deaths in the African Region. He added that there is a high level of lifetime abstainers of 57.5%, persons who drink alcohol consumes high volumes, he noted that some issues and challenges being faced in the region includes the lack of national alcohol control policies, lack of national inter-sectorial coordination mechanism, Weak health care systems and interferences from the alcohol industry. He added that the Vision and Goal of the African Regional Framework on GAAP is to have an African Region free from the harmful use of alcohol (free from alcohol harm) and to significantly reduce morbidity, disability and mortality due to alcohol consumption in the African Region by 2023.
He noted that the objective of the Regional Framework is to increase implementation and enforcement of high-impact policy options and interventions through legislation/regulations, while some guiding principles are Evidence-based approach, empowering of people and communities, human rights approach and protection from commercial interests. Mr. Ali concluded by stating that some priority interventions and actions of the framework includes the establishment of partnerships and multi-sectorial coordination mechanism, development of multi-sectorial alcohol harm reduction policies.
As part of the workshop, participants brainstormed to identify the aspects of the GAAP Reseau Senegalais Contre La Cons Al (RESECA) and Senegalese Alcohol Policy Alliance (SenAPA) is collaborating with its government to implement. The focus of the 2024 programme of work which both alliance are expected to implement was discussed.
As part of the Advocacy Tour, Mr. Ali together with Mr. Djibril Wele the National Coordinator and other RESECA members briefed Mr. Amadou Touba Niang; Trade Commissioner, on the Global Alcohol Action Plan.
Mr. Issah Ali was invited by SenAPA to SenJeunes TV (Senegal Youth TV) where Mr. Ali advocated for youth involvement in advocacy for National Alcohol Policy in Senegal.
Mr. Ali hosted an engagement meeting between RESECA and SenAPA to discuss WAAPA’s position and roadmap on having a unified Alliance on the fight against Alcohol Harm in Senegal. At the end of the meeting, both RESECA and SenAPA agreed and committed to operate separately but under one single Consortium for national development, they agree to develop a joint action plan and allocate activities based on experience and expertise to prevent duplications. This he noted would pave way for progress and national cohesion in the campaign front towards the development of a National Alcohol Policy.