Ethiopia: Plans To Strengthen Alcohol Control
The parliament has formulated improvements to the country’s alcohol policy, tackling alcohol availability and marketing – two of the three WHO-recommended alcohol policy best buys. Presently, however, Ethiopia still does not have a coherent written national policy or action plan on alcohol control, according the 2018 WHO Global Alcohol Status Report.
Now, the Ethiopian parliament has passed a draft bill that bans a specific category of alcohol advertisement in broadcast media and that increases the legal age limit for alcohol from 18 to 21 years of age.
The Food and Drug’s Proclamation addresses thematic public health issues including Alcohol Control.
Major highlights from the new alcohol policy
- Alcoholic products with less than 10% alcohol content cannot be advertised via broadcast media.
- Billboards shall be affected the same way.
- Where applicable, the advert shall contain a warning – in print or sound.
- The legal age for which a person can purchase alcohol shall be 21.
Ethiopia belongs to the countries in the world that rank highest in years of life lost due to alcohol. Ethiopian men suffer from alcohol use disorder to a greater degree compared to the regional average and among young people (aged 15-19 years) every second alcohol user engages in heavy episodic alcohol consumption.
These few figures show that the country is heavily burdened by alcohol harm and needs to urgently address its alcohol policy gaps.