In line with the Centre’s vision of being a sustainable Centre of excellence for empowering African governments to implement Tobacco Control, CTCA successfully convened its inaugural TC regional meeting as a critical step towards making itself more relevant to Africa’s TC needs.
The meeting held in Pretoria South Africa, from February 13-15, 2017 was a great milestone that re-affirmed the Centre’s role as a notable and critical mover for the tobacco control agenda in Africa. It was held in collaboration with the University of Pretoria and brought together eight African governments and partners to harmonize tobacco control response approaches and strategies across the Region.
As a key outcome of the meeting, CTCA was urged to expedite the process of re-positioning itself for more visibility and as a critical TC partner to be reckoned with on the continent. This, among other aspects, essentially re-activates the original CTCA hub concept, among other aspects. A mechanism for the formulation of the Africa Tobacco Control research agenda was also agreed upon.
According to the Centre Manager Dr. Jim Arinaitwe, this meeting was a great success especially in as far as it provided a forum for governments and tobacco control partners to discuss key emerging tobacco control issues on the continent, and strategies for supporting governments to address the issues. He says the momentum created at this inaugural meeting is a great stepping stone for CTCA as it seeks to reposition itself to respond better to the needs of the African governments in implementing the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The meeting also provided a forum for experiential sharing of best practices for purposes of accelerating tobacco control in the region. It was attended by National Tobacco Control Focal Persons from the Ministries of Health and officials from relevant government departments drawn from 8 out of 10 CTCA target countries including; Botswana, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Mauritania, Niger, South Africa and Uganda.
Others were tobacco control partners including African Capacity Building Foundation ( ACBF), International Development Research Centre (IDRC), World Health Organization (WHO),The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung disease (The UNION) as well as experts from University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, Cooperative University of Kenya, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Makerere University’s ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and the National Council Against Smoking (NCAS).