CTCA is set to convene a regional tobacco control meeting that will provide a platform for African governments under its program support and TC pivotal actors to harmonize understanding on Tobacco Control response and strategies for Africa.
The meeting to be held in Pretoria, South Africa from February 13-15, 2017 will bring together TC Focal Persons and officials from relevant government departments in CTCA’s ten target countries including Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Mauritania, Niger, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.
CTCA Manager Dr. Jim Arinaitwe says this inaugural meeting will be instrumental in guiding the Centre to reposition as a regional Centre of excellence to better empower African governments to implement TC and effectively respond to the changing tobacco control landscape.
Dr. Arinaitwe says the regional meeting will be held annually to provide a forum for governments in CTCA’s target countries to deliberate and share experiences on Tobacco Control implementation and forge a way forward for the TC agenda in the region. The meeting will also be used to identify workable strategies for engaging African governments to operationalize the WHO-FCTC, as well as approaches for governments to engage the quasi-government actors.
The Centre Manager reiterates the effectiveness of implementing Tobacco Control is dependent on having a national tobacco control program in place adding that this meeting will also provide an opportunity to discuss and gain a common understanding of the national tobacco control programming modalities and enhance countries’ capacity to respond.
In line with the Centre’s strategic direction of pooling evidence to drive tobacco control on the continent, the meeting will also help to inform the tobacco control research agenda as well as guide the constitution and placement of CTCA’s hubs that are to be established as sub-regional resource Centers.
The overriding intent is to consolidate efforts, to enhance performance through bridging the gaps that have delayed country access or penetration and; accelerate action to swat the fast-growing tobacco epidemic with its dire health adverse effects.