Africa Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2023

Unnecessary interactions with the tobacco industry

Unnecessary interactions with the tobacco industry occur when government officials Uattend social activities sponsored by the sector or when the government gets into a partnership with them, according to Article 5.3 guidelines. One of the most significant strategies to protect decision processes from excessive influence is to prohibit unnecessary interaction between the tobacco business and government officials. Nonetheless, many governments form alliances with the tobacco business, or top-level government officials cultivate contacts with the sector at the local or national level.

  • Fostering relations with tobacco companies
  • Accepting assistance from tobacco companies
  • Opportunitic social events and gatherings
  • Non-binding agreements
  • Developing personal ties

As presented in Figure 10, all countries, except Botswana, Gabon, Ethiopia and Mauritius, recordedsuch interactions in 2023 (Figure 10). Madagasacar followed by South Africa and Tanzania recorded the highest scores for unnecessary interaction.

Building relations with the industry
Governemnt officals of past and present ruling parties continue to engage with tobacco industries for various reasons that were unnecessary.

In South Africa, the tobacco industry interacted with senior government officials of the current ruling party (African National Congress) at a fund-raising event alongside its policy conference in July 2022

In Nigeria, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and custom officials paid a visit to BAT Nigeria Ibadan factory and commended BAT’s contributions to the Nigerian economy. Again in Nigeria, the Nigeria
Employement Summit (2022), organised by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association to burnish the image of BATN, there were several government official present at the summit

In Mozambique, the Governor of the Province of Zambezia was accompanied by the Provincial Director of Agriculture and Rural Development to attend the launch ceremony of the tobacco marketing campaign at the invitation
by the Director General of the Mozambique Leaf Tobacco

Several unnecessary interaction between senior government officialsand to baccocompany representative were also observed in Tanzania during
this reporting period

In some countries such as Ghana, despite no evidence of unnecessary interactions, media reports indicated that the industry has engaged government officials during this reporting period. This was confirmed by the General Manager for BAT West, Central, and African markets on BAT Ghana’s corporate development strategy, the industry has been working with the government

Awarding the tobacco industry for their commitment
In Zambia the Minister of Green Economy and Environment participated in the 4th Zambia CSR and Responsible Business Awards Gala dinner during which JTI Zambia was a warded with the ‘CSR Excellence in Education Infrastructure Support’ iv award for its commitment to this specific area of CSR .
Likewise in Kenya, during the 18th Kenya Association of Manufacturer’s Energy Management Awards in 2022, BAT Kenya was awarded one of the top prizes. The award ceremony was attended by some of the top government officials including the including Ministry of Energy. Government officials and institutions that provide these awards are perceived as endorsing these companies and help elevate the industry’s profile, making de-normalizing the industry and its harmful products even more challenging.

Similarily, in Nigeria, the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, an agency
under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment awarded BAT Nigeria the “Best Exporter to African Markets for the Year 2022” at the Council’s Award and Gala Nite in .

Seeking assistance and fostering relations with tobaocco industries for tobacco control Countries including and did not report Chad Senegal any such activites in this reporting period, however, the government in some countries worked side-by-side with the tobacco industry for implementing tobacco control measures mainly in the area of illicit tobacco controlNovember 2022

In other countries such as Madagascar, the tobacco industry financed 100% of the production, design, printing and distribution of posters labeled “protection des mineurs” (protection of minors) on not
selling cigarettes to minors. The tobacco industry, through Akbaraly Foundation, has signed agreements and contracts with government ministries. Akbaraly is the CSR arm of Sipromad Group which owns tobacco farms, produces Focus cigarettes, the country’s bestselling cigarette brand, and owns one of the largest tobacco farms in the Indian Ocean In Zambia, the government, through the Zambia Chamber of Commerce Indus tr y (ZACCI), organized a workshop in conjunction with the tobacco industry to build capacity among the media and to provide them with information about the latest developments in the tobacco market and its regulatory features

In Madagascar, the tobacco industry financed 100% of the production, design, printing and distribution of posters labeled “protection des mineurs” (protection of minors) on not selling cigarettes to minors.