It is shocking how a notebook is more expensive than beer in this African country

Mildred Europa Taylor October 18, 2018
Alcohol consumption is increasing in Africa --- Africa Health

Congo-Brazzaville is gradually becoming one of the new centres for the booze industry in Africa and major beverage companies are taking advantage of that.

Beer has become so affordable in the country that it is even cheaper than a notebook. Promotional sales of beer have worsened the situation as many breweries have adopted the marketing strategy to make huge sales.

The move has been condemned by authorities, particularly, the Congolese Ministry of Commerce that has since placed a ban on these promotions to curb the high intake of alcohol.

According to the recent promotional price for beers at various pubs and bars, three bottles of beer cost 1,000 CFA francs ($0.62 – much less than a dollar) instead of 1,500 CFA francs ($0.92), reports by RFI Afrique said.

“When you give a young person the opportunity to take three beers at 1,000 FCFA, he will realize that a 200-page book costs more than a beer. This is a disservice to the youth who must learn and go to school,” Philippe Nsondé-Mondzié, the director general in charge of commercial fraud lamented.

The ban on these promotions should have been placed much earlier to achieve the desired result, the Congolese Consumers’ Rights Observatory believes, adding that “the decision should not only stop with a simple ban notice.”

As the beverage companies are yet to comment on the impact the proposed ban will have on their businesses, consumers have expressed mixed reactions over the development. While some are fervently behind the government’s decision, the report notes that others state otherwise.

“With the promotion, you can have four bottles at 1000 FCFA, it relaxes you and it feels good,” a customer who is all for the promo said.

Despite the health and social cost of alcohol misuse, as well as moves by religious bodies to prevent the use and sale of alcohol, the consumption of beer has particularly been on the high in recent years, as can be found at weddings, funerals, circumcision and naming ceremonies and other social gatherings.

There have also been calls for alcohol companies to give consumers insurance coverage.

It is shocking how a notebook is more expensive than beer in this African country

Happy Sekanka is a female brewer in South Africa — VOA

Last year, it emerged that South Africans have the highest level of alcohol consumption in Africa. This was based on a data released by the World Health Organisation covering the period between 2008 and 2010 measured by production, import, export and sales statistics.

Per the data, each South African older than 15 consumes 11 litres of pure alcohol per year; this is the highest in Africa and also more than double the average for 53 African countries.

Where the datasets are not available, the WHO uses a combination of statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, projections and a range of modeling techniques to work out alcohol intake over time, a senior technical officer in the WHO’s department of mental health and substance abuse, Dag Rekve, explained to Africa Check, Africa’s first independent fact-checking organization.

“Given that South Africa, Namibia and Botswana feature among the heaviest drinkers, it is no surprise that southern Africa has the highest number of people dying of diseases caused by alcohol intake in the African region,” Africa Check indicated.

Below are the top ten countries with the highest alcohol intake in Africa (WHO)

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: October 18, 2018

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