Ghana: Formal Launch of GhanAPA
The Ghana Alcohol Policy Alliance (GhanAPA) has been launched under the theme: “The Role Of National Alcohol Policy In Preventing And Reducing Alcohol Harms”. The formal launch of the alcohol policy network comes two years after a national alcohol policy workshop laid the groundwork for the formation of the Ghana Alcohol Policy Alliance. The workshop in 2017 was organized by IOGT member Vision for Alternative Development (VALD) in collaboration with IOGT International, when International President Kristina Sperkova and International Board Member Brenda Mkwesha visited Ghana and IOGT members.
The launch event was also supported by FORUT Norway, the development assistance organization of the Norwegian IOGT movement.
First chairman of GhanAPA is Benjamin Anabila of INSLA, the Institute of Leadership and Development in Ghana – also a member of IOGT International.
He said that GhanAPA was dedicated to alcohol prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, as well as alcohol control policy. Strategically GhanAPA is also affiliated with the West African Alcohol Policy Alliance (WAAPA) and the Ghana NCD Alliance. Benjamin further added that GhanAPA will work to bring together civil society organisations working in the area of health and advocacy for a coordinated programme against alcohol harm, as per reports from.
GhanAPA vision, mission and advocacy campaign
The vision and mission of the GhanAPA is to advocate an alcohol-free Ghana and to contribute to the elimination of alcohol use by minors and vulnerable groups in Ghana, according to reports by Modern Ghana.
The new alliance is set to push for the passage of a Legislative Instrument (LI) to back the law on alcohol use in Ghana. GhanAPA has already issued a call on other civil society organisations to closely partner with the government to create awareness and prevent Non-Communication Diseases (NCDs), that are fueled by alcohol.
Speaking at the launch event, Benjamin further outlined that part of GhanAPA advocacy would be a massive public education campaign on the real harms of alcohol and the alcohol industry in Ghana.
He also noted that it was the alliance’s solemn pledge to offer help to people with alcohol use disorders, such as quitting alcohol use and achieving recovery.
Mr. Adam Abdul Fatah, who is the new national coordinator of GhanAPA, said, the time has come for Ghanaians to fight against the consumption of alcohol to protect the future generation.
If there has ever been a time in our history where we have to stamp our feet on the ground to make a decision on the harmful use of alcohol especially to protect the future generation, then the time is now”, he said.
Dr. Akwasi Osei, the CEO of Ghana’s Mental Health Authority commended GhanAPA and urged the alliance to help promote the agenda of having a national alcohol law in the country.
Ghana News Agency reports that GhanAPA will partner with decision-makers to help implement the WHO Global Alcohol Strategy by encouraging and promoting abstinence from alcohol, reducing consumption and by advocating for the regulation of production, marketing, and sales of alcohol with the goal to enhance public health and promote socio-economic development in the country.