Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

African tobacco control

Background information

The tobacco epidemic in Africa can be curbed if countries receive help to build their:

  • technical capacity for strengthening tobacco control
  • institutional capacity for programmatic change
  • cross-sectoral capacity for alignment and coordination

WHO is mobilizing resources and partnerships to respond to the challenge. In 2009, WHO secured a grant of approximately USD 10 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for Africa, with the following key objectives:

  • to support rapid, evidence-based strengthening of tobacco control strategies in at least one of the demand reduction strategies in at least three countries of the African region
  • to develop local capacity of a Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA) enabling it to sustain and support improvements in two additional countries

The project envisages providing technical assistance, mobilizing resources and building capacity to implement sustained tobacco control interventions through the resource centre, which will represent a cross-sectoral partnership of governmental and nongovernmental organizations across the region.