The current index report shows some form of endorsement, support and partner- ships with tobacco industries in activities labelled as “cooperate social responsibility”. High level of CSR activities was reported in many countries as shown in Figure 6.
Government agencies/officials endorse, support, form partnerships with or participates in activities
of the tobacco industry.
In countries like Nigeria Government at federal and state levels continue to form partnerships, endorse, and participate in activities of the tobacco industry. Many of such engagements are in the public domain and are even celebrated in the media and on social media, especially on twitter and Facebook. British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) sponsorship of agricultural initiatives have the endorsement of state governments across the country. On May 2021; forinstance the Logos State Commissioner for Agriculture , Abisola Olusanya, commended BATNF describing the relationship between the state and the foundation as “always a fruitful one”
British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) sponsorship of agricultural initiatives have the endorsement of state governments across the country
In Zambia, the Western Province Minister, who is also area member of Parliament, endorsed several of JTI’s CSR program including tree planting, a crosspoint bridge for a local community, building and rehabilitation of classroom bloks and launch of the “WeProsper” Child Labour Awareness Campaign in the Munkuye Ward, illustrating government officials’ involvement in the campaign. On the 25th of September 2022, the Minister commended JTI for its role as a “responsible corporate entity”.
The government receives CSR contributions from the tobacco industry The tobacco industry engages in CSR activities in various sectors, by contributing through partnerships with various ministries and governmental agencies. They engage in activities such as provision of scholarships, provision of classroom blocks, training of youth in agriculture and entrepreneurship, poverty alleviation, water and sanitation and the natural environment. The tendency of such an occurrence is connected to the recent COVID-19 pandemic that opened
most poor and middle-income countries to much vulnerability, for which the tobacco industry may covertly lend support.
In 2021, BATNF partnered with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) – a federal government youth scheme to supposedly empower young agriculture entrepreneurs financially.
In Madagascar, the industry has contributed towards projects at different ministries, including Ministry of Education, Public Health, Environment and Population. For instance, Imperial Brands is working with the Ministry of Population on a permaculture project, which has supported 200 vulnerable families in Antsirabe with a fund of £25,000, or one hundred million Ariary. The Ministry of Public Health and Imperial Brands also work with the “Support for Health” project (19) which allocated >63,000USD, including 250 million Ariary in local currency, to the fight against the spread of covid-19 in 2020. A summary of CSR activities in Madagascar, showing the industry’s contribution through various ministries, is shown in Figure 7 (18–20).