Industry Participation in Policy Development

Governments are obligated to protect their health policies from tobacco industry interference. The 2021 Index shows a low level of tobacco industry interference in policy development in Kenya and Uganda. Countries such as Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania experienced the most industry interference. In the survey report they do not allow the tobacco industry a seat in policy development. An overview of how the participating countries performed is shown in Figure 3.

Extent of industry participation in policy development in some African countries

Ethiopia: The tobacco industry participated in the drafting process of the Tobacco Control Proclamation (Proclamation 11112) and provided some recommendations to influence key provisions which were accepted by the Ethiopian Food and Drug Administration (EFDA).

Nigeria: The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment received a tobacco industry proposal on the need for a Policy on Conventional Tobacco and Non-Combusted Alternatives to Cigarette Smoking7.

Burkina-Faso: The tobacco industry provided financial support to the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Trade for the setting up of a system of authentication, track and trace, and fiscal verification of tobacco products8.

Zambia: Meetings between government officials and the industry were sometimes reported though not in detail.

Countries like Botswana, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, and Uganda, do not accept, support or endorse any offer for assistance by or in collaboration with the tobacco industry in setting or implementing public health policies related to tobacco control. They also do not allow or invite the tobacco industry to sit in any government meetings on tobacco control. However, in South Africa, the tobacco industry made several unsuccessful attempts to communicate with the National Department of Health (NDoH) during the ban on the sale of tobacco products at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Figure 3: Tobacco Industry Participation in Policy Development

Even though the Zambian government does not have the tobacco industry sitting in multi-sectoral committee meetings, they consults with the tobacco industry on tobacco control matters. While governments of Botswana, Cote d’lvoire, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda, do not accept, support or endorse policies or legislation drafted by or in collaboration with the tobacco industry, a contrary situation is registered in some other countries. In Nigeria, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), a government agency, involved the tobacco industry in consultations and drafting of policies on tobacco control. In 2020, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment also received a tobacco industry proposal on the need for a Policy on Conventional Tobacco and Non-Combusted Alternatives to Cigarette Smoking7. Timely advocacy from tobacco control groups prompted the Ministry to jettison its adoption. In South Africa, the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA), an industry lobby group, negotiated a settlement with the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to not reintroduce a ban on the sale of tobacco products without a public participation process9. Additionally, the South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance (SATTA) tried to influence policy by proposing the National Treasury adopt a Minimum Price Level (MPL) for cigarettes. SATTA claimed that MPL had significant success in other parts of the world, and the 40% excise incidence for cigarettes should remain unchanged10. Every two years, Parties to the WHO FCTC, convene at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to negotiate more effective implementation of the treaty. Article 5.3 Guidelines recommend that Parties attending the COP and other related meetings prohibit participation of representatives from the tobacco industry. The Index shows that about 90% of the countries surveyed do not include representatives of the tobacco industry in their delegations to the COP or its related meetings.

Every two years, Parties to the WHO FCTC, convene at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to negotiate more effective implementation of the treaty. Article 5.3 Guidelines recommend that Parties attending the COP and other related meetings prohibit participation of representatives from the tobacco industry. The Index shows that about 90% of the countries surveyed do not include representatives of the tobacco industry in their delegations to the COP or its related meetings.