Kampala. The Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance (UAPA) recently provided vital insights into ongoing advocacy efforts surrounding the Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill (ADCB). The aim of this session was not only to update stakeholders on the bill’s status but also to reinforce the core principles of ADCBUganda2023: Preventing alcohol-related harm, Protecting the populace from health, social, and economic alcohol-related issues, and Promoting national development.
Chaired by Juliet Namukasa, the meeting highlighted significant progress made since the discussion inception in 2009. Namukasa emphasized how the proposed legislation, which includes measures like time restrictions on availability and health warning labels on alcohol products, aligns with Uganda’s objectives. There was discussion about the minimum age stated in the bill, where Namukasa pointed out that the law designates 21 years as the maturity age, whereas the proposed bill sets it at 18 years. This discrepancy would pose enforcement challenges and the UAPA proposals seek to harmonize this.
Richard Baguma, the Coordinator, emphasized the importance of understanding the bill thoroughly, especially for those opposing it without proper comprehension. He highlighted misconceptions about employment figures in the alcohol industry, emphasizing that the claim of employing 1.3 million Ugandans is false. Baguma stressed the bill’s aim to regulate, not prohibit, alcohol sales, aligning with Uganda’s welfare.
Moreover, Mama Sophie, a musician and advocate, highlighted the need to educate bar owners on the impact of daytime alcohol sales on their business and advocated for a minimum entry age of 21 into bars.
The gathering underscored the necessity for continuous public awareness about the bill’s objectives. It proved pivotal in advancing discussions and emphasized the collective effort needed to achieve the bill’s goals. As discussions continue, the focus remains on informed action and public engagement to positively shape alcohol control policies.
Access the Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill 2023 here: UAPA Website