Local NGO hails anti-tobacco legal fund

An NGO that seeks to control and reduce tobacco use in Botswana, has applauded the introduction of an Anti-Tobacco Trade Litigation Fund by international billionaire philanthropists, Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates.

Interim executive director of Anti-Tobacco Network (ATN), Dr Bontle Mbongwe said the launch of the joint fund last week is timely because Botswana is about to complete the formulation of a comprehensive law that is compliant with the provisions of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The fund is meant to combat the tobacco industry’s use of international trade agreements to threaten and prevent countries from passing strong tobacco-control laws. “The initiative couldn’t have come at a better time as the tobacco industry is capitalising on international trade agreements to slow health gains made by countries,” Mbongwe said. She stated that when Botswana introduced the 30 percent tobacco levy in line with the provisions of the FCTC, it was publicly condemned by the South African-based Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (TISA). She said the company claimed that “the levy goes against the spirit of the SACU agreement as it eradicates trade harmonisation and hampers the free flow of goods within the SACU community”.

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence!

We are 56 years old and what do we have to show for it? Looking at where Botswana started and where it is today, there are a lot of developments, but whether the developments match the number of years we have enjoyed as a country is a topic for another day.The fact that cannot be denied is we have seen major developments, but we are still lacking in several pertinent areas.Our beautiful country imports almost everything. We import fuel, food,...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up