Achievements of ATCA
Below are a few major achievements of ATCA since its creation in 2008.
African Tobacco Control Consortium (ATCC) Project – 2009 to 2013
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:
- National laws or policies compliant with the FCTC were adopted in 9 countries;
- Taxes on tobacco were increased in seven countries;
- Tobacco industry efforts to undermine tobacco control laws and policies were monitored and countered in 10 countries;
- CSOs capacity was built and strengthened to carry out advocacy in tobacco control; and
- Institutional capacity of ATCA was strengthened to manage tobacco control programmes and funds
Tobacco Industry Accountability (TIA) Project – 2015 to 2017
The TIA project, administered by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aims 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 has 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 first phase of the project ended in 2017 and 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 five (5) 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. Click here to view and download the report.
This first phase of 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 legislation/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.
Policy Advocacy Project – 2016 to 2018
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 ACBF 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.
- An improved environment for tobacco control.
- 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.
IN COTE D’IVOIRE
- A tobacco control bill ready for adoption in Cote d’Ivoire
- 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
Establishment of a Network of Tobacco Control Journalists in Africa
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 has 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. ATCA has awarded 9 media fellowships to journalists from this network. Some of the articles from these fellowships are as follows:
- Pressure Mounts To Free Nigerian Youths From Deadly Shisha
- Controversy over Smoke-Free world campaign
- ENQUETE SUR L'INTERDICTION FUMER TABAC DANS LES LIEUX PUBLICS AU BURKINA (Audio in French)
- Secret smokers – clampdown on shisha
- Are companies using study tours to promote smoking?
Through ATCA’s support, several media organisations helped to provide coverage to tobacco control, expose and denounce the tobacco industry’s activities aimed at undermining implementation of the WHO FCTC.
Enhancement of communication and knowledge sharing
ATCA has enhanced its information and knowledge sharing capacity. The alliance runs two WhatsApp forums: ATCA Newsline where it mainly shares information and updates with its members, and Africa TC Journalists used to engage members of the continental tobacco control network.
On a regular basis, ATCA searches tobacco control articles from the internet. These articles are compiled and disseminated to the African tobacco control community.
ATCA is also stepping up its presence on Facebook and Twitter, and has played a significant role in using the social media to drive tobacco control messages across the continent. It has more than 76,000 Facebook followers comprising journalists, advocates and supporters of the tobacco control fight from within and out of Africa.