In 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided a grant to carry out the African Tobacco Control Consortium (ATCC) project which comprised five partners, including ATCA. ATCC was a five-year project aimed at promoting evidence-based tobacco control in sub-Saharan Africa in order to prevent an epidemic of tobacco-related death and disease in the region. The grant was administered by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and ATCA was the key partner in implementing the project among civil society using its Pan-African network of NGOs.
With the support of ACS, ATCA achieved the following:
- The adoption of national laws or policies compliant with the FCTC in 9 countries
- Tobacco tax increase in seven countries
- Monitoring and countering of tobacco industry efforts to undermine tobacco control laws and policies in 10 countries
- Capacity building and strengthening of CSOs to carry out advocacy in tobacco control
- Institutional capacity building and strengthening of ATCA to manage tobacco control programmes and funds.
The TIA project, administered by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed at monitoring, countering and discrediting tactics of the tobacco industry, and building support for tobacco control in Africa. The project which started in July 2015 had as specific objectives to strengthen the capacity of ATCA’s country partners to monitor, counter and discredit the tobacco industry, expose and denounce tobacco industry activities in the target countries and conduct high-level policy advocacy.
The project consisted of two campaigns:
- The Big Tobacco Tiny Targets campaign which aimed at exposing and denouncing the tobacco industry’s aggressive marketing of tobacco products to children around schools in eight (8) African countries. Country reports and a regional report were developed for advocacy at country and regional levels.
- The Sale of Single Sticks campaign which aimed at documenting and disseminating findings on the sale of single sticks of cigarettes in ten (10) African countries.
The TIA project achieved the following results:
- Benin: A law adopted with a provision banning advertising, sale and promotion of tobacco products around schools in Benin.
- Burkina Faso: A decree issued banning the promotion of tobacco products within 400 meters around schools.
- Cameroon: A new regulation being drafted on advertising and promotion of tobacco products around schools.
- Nigeria: Continuous advocacy with Government to enforce the ban on the sale and advertising of tobacco around schools, and a call on the government by the Senate to adopt measures to protect children from tobacco industry marketing strategies around schools.
- Uganda: Continuous advocacy for the enforcement of the Tobacco Control Act by Members of Parliament who visited school vicinities.
- Sierra Leone: A new regulation being drafted on advertising and promotion of tobacco and other harmful products around schools.
- Madagascar: A new regulation being drafted on advertising and promotion of tobacco and other harmful products around schools.
- Zambia: Continuous advocacy for the adoption of a Tobacco Control law with a provision to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship around schools.
In August 2016, ATCA started a project with the financial support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and administered by the African Capacity Building Foundation. The overall objective of the project was to contribute in reducing the prevalence of tobacco use in Africa by:
- Enhancing the institutional capacity of the alliance supporting the development of FCTC-compliant legislations and policies in four African countries.
- Enhancing the effectiveness of stakeholders to undertake Tobacco Industry Monitoring (TIM).
The project was executed in four countries; Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Tanzania.
Activities carried out included amongst others:
- Mapping of the tobacco industry and political/policy environment in target countries
- Capacity building of media professionals and CSOs on Tobacco Industry Monitoring (TIM) and advocacy
- Tobacco industry monitoring
- Advocacy with policy and decision makers
- Engagement of media professionals in advocacy
The following results were achieved:
- The enhancement of the capacity of more than 152 tobacco control advocates
- The establishment of Tobacco Industry Monitoring (TIM) Teams to monitor, counter and discredit tobacco industry tactics in all four target countries.
- An improved environment for tobacco control.
IN COTE D’IVOIRE
- The adoption of a strong tobacco control law
- The enactment of a municipal order regulating the sale of cigarettes and shisha in N’djamena.
- The enactment of a national order regulating point of sale of tobacco products.
- The ratification of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in tobacco products in Niger.
- The finalisation of an FCTC-compliant bill and setting up of a strong and influential media team at the forefront of media advocacy for tobacco control in Tanzania.
- The enhancement of ATCA’s institutional capacity
- The establishment of an ATCA Online Resource Centre for tobacco control in Africa
- The revision of the ATCA manual of administrative and finances procedures
- The creation of an ATCA TC experts’ database
- The development of the ATCA Strategic Plan 2019-2023
Following trainings for journalists held in Accra (Ghana) and Entebbe (Uganda) in 2017, and in Cape Town (South Africa) and Lomé (Togo) in 2018, ATCA established a network of tobacco control journalists in Africa. Journalists in the network are playing an important role in advocating for tobacco control continentally and in their respective countries, and especially in exposing the interferences of the tobacco industry. The network has increased the visibility of tobacco control in Africa. Through ATCA’s support, several media organisations helped to provide coverage to tobacco control, and expose and denounce tobacco industry activities aimed at undermining implementation of the WHO FCTC.
THE NAIROBI DECLARATION ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WHO FCTC IN THE WHO AFRICAN REGION (2015).
The Declaration requests African Member States:
To develop, strengthen and enforce comprehensive tobacco control policies, legislation and regulations that fully incorporate the obligations of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its guidelines.