Influencing legislature for the; National alcoholic drinks control bill, Uganda

Publicerat 2024-03-12

In a country where alcohol-related harm has plagued communities for far too long, the Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance (UAPA) has become a good model, uniting civil society organizations and individuals in a collective effort to combat the negative effects of alcohol consumption. Since its inception in 2009, UAPA has been at the forefront of advocacy for regulations on alcohol manufacturing, distribution, advertising, and consumption in Uganda. Through strategic collaborations with government institutions, stakeholders, and like-minded organizations.

In partnership with IOGT-NTO Movement, UAPA registered milestones for alcohol control advocacy, where we tremendously contributed to; the current private National Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill that was tabled in Parliament by Hon Sarah Opendi on 14th Nov 2023.  Currently, the bill is before the Committees of Health and Trade, where 20 more days were added to gather evidence and it’s due for debating on the floor of Parliament very soon.

The Process

UAPA undertook significant advocacy effort to influence the legislative process regarding alcohol control in Uganda. Central to this effort was lobbying to present the Civil Society Organization (CSO) perspective on the Alcoholics Drinks Control Bill to the parliamentary committees of Quality Health and Trade & Tourism. This opportunity was granted, culminating in a pivotal meeting held on December 21st, 2023, where UAPA presented the Civil Society submission to the Committees.

Various stakeholders were engaged in this endeavor, including the members of UAPA, Uganda Cancer Institute, the Uganda Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance, the Addiction Prevention Rehabilitation Association of Uganda, and the Stroke Foundation. Together, they collaborated to ensure a comprehensive and informed CSO perspective on the alcohol control bill.

UAPA employed strategic lobbying efforts to secure a slot before the parliamentary committees and encourage stakeholders to participate in the discussion. This involved convincing stakeholders of the importance of addressing alcohol-related issues and the necessity of the proposed bill. Also, the meticulous reviewing of the draft on Alcoholics Drinks Control Bill, provided by its champion, to ensure a thorough understanding of its contents, allowed to identify areas of concern, propose amendments, and fine-tuned the CSO perspective presented to the parliamentary committees, ultimately contributing to informed decision-making within the legislative process in Uganda.

Our aspiration

As we look towards the future, our journey serves as a reminder of the power of collective action in effecting change. United against alcohol, we stand stronger, more determined, and more resilient in our mission to create a healthier, safer, and alcohol-free communities.