Africa Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2023

Key Findings

  • In comparison with their 2021 scores, three (3) countries, Burkina Faso, Botswana and Ethiopia showed marked improvement, whilst two (2) countries marginally improved, one (1) remained unchanged, while eight (8) countries showed deterioration from their 2021 rankings.

  • In 2023, Cameroon had the highest scores for industry interference in the region.
  • Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania showed the most deterioration in scores in 2023 from their 2021 scores
  • Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique continue to top the list in Africa with the highest level of tobacco industry interference from 2020-2023 in almost all indicators.
  • Zambia, Tanzania and Cameroon had the highest tobacco industry influences on governments in policy development.
  • The Malagasy State of Madagascar has minimal control in application of decrees relating to tobacco control, thus enabling the industry to sign partnerships with local groups, to participate in CSR activities.
  • Nigeria, Gabon, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia are the top countries where the tobacco industry benefits several incentives such as tax breaks, legalization of sponsorship and delays in implementation of tobacco control laws.
  • Positive developments in tobacco control during this period was the introduction of excise duty on e-liquid from 1 June 2023 in South Africa, and an increase in excise duty on tobacco products in Cameroon and Ghana in 2023.
  • In 2023, Mauritius became the first African country to introduce plain tobacco packaging and received the acknowledgement of being the first in Africa to adopt the WHO full-scale tobacco control measures along with the Netherlands, Brazil, and Turkey.
  • The scores in Botswana improved from scores of 50 in 2021 to 33 in 2023 largely due to the enactment of the Tobacco Control Act (2021) with a strong component of Article 5.3 despite interference by BAT Botswana.
  • The Government in Tanzania supports the tobacco industry with huge subsidies to upscale production and inviting more leaf companies to purchase the crop with no increase in tobacco taxes for the past three years.
  • Cameroon lacks a national anti-tobacco law and absence of a national regulation for the application of the provisions of Article 5.3 of the FCTC.
  • The tobacco industry received awards for its corporate operations and so-called CSR activities in Nigeria, Kenya and Zamiba.
  • Countries such as Cameroon, Madagascar, Mozambique, Senegal, South Afrcia, Tanzania and Zambia and have neglected to firewall their tobacco control efforts and have been particularly vulnerable to high levels of industry interference.
  • African governments do not adequately address conflict of interest situations and current and former public officials continue to work for and in the interest of the tobacco industry.