Global alcohol policy conference set for Cape Town

Tichaona Zindoga

The 7th Biennial Global Alcohol Policy Conference will take place from 24 – 26 October 2023 at the Cape Town Convention Centre, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The conference (GAPC2023) aims to emphasise the need for proactive steps at both national and especially global levels to address alcohol harms, and will be held under the theme: “Investing in people before profits: building momentum towards the Framework Convention on Alcohol Control”.

It comprises several plenaries that focus on Gender-Based Violence and Alcohol; Alcohol Pricing Policies; Regulating Digital Marketing of Alcohol; Disrupting the Impacts of Conflict of Interest; and New initiatives in promoting impactful policies and Reducing Industry Influence.

These plenaries will be led by some of the world’s leading researchers, activists, and scientists. More than 400 delegates from across the globe will attend the alcohol policy conference, the first time to be held in Africa.

Co-hosted by South Africa’s Department of Social Development, Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA), the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA), the conference enjoys the support of co-sponsors including the WHO, DG Murray Trust, the National Department of Health, and SA Tourism.

Other funders include the National Research Foundation, the Western Cape Provincial Government, and Open Philanthropy.

In a media statement on Tuesday, organisers said: “The mission of GAPA is to reduce alcohol-related harm worldwide by promoting science-based policies.”

In South Africa, alcohol is the most widely used psychoactive substance and the country is currently faced with high levels of binge drinking and associated harms.

Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu will address the conference.

The Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) is a network of not-for-profit organisations and people working in public health agencies who share information on alcohol issues and advocate evidence-based alcohol policies, free from commercial interests.

Previous conferences have been held in Dublin, Ireland (2020), Melbourne, Australia (2017), Edinburgh, Scotland (2015), Seoul, South Korea (2013) Bangkok, Thailand (2012) and the inaugural one in Syracause, USA (2000).

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