The influence of industry actions on the availability of alcoholic beverages in the African region

Addiction. 2015 Apr;110(4):561-71. doi: 10.1111/add.12832.


Aims: The alcohol beverage industry has been expanding its corporate social responsibility and other business activities in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effects of these activities on the physical, economic, psychological and social availability of alcohol in the region.

Methods: Narrative review. Source materials came from the business press, industry sources (websites, annual reports, press releases, conference proceedings) and the scientific literature published since 2000.

Results: The alcohol industry has intensified its activities in the African region, through their funding of social aspect organizations, technical publications, policy workshops and other corporate social responsibility activities. Marketing campaigns, new product designs and the development of industry-civil society partnerships have increased. There is evidence that the alcohol industry also engages in lobbying, information dissemination and legal action to thwart effective public health measures.

Conclusions: The corporate social responsibility activities of the global alcohol industry have provided a vehicle to promote industry-favorable policies and increase the physical, economic, social and psychological availability of alcohol.

Keywords: Africa; alcohol industry; availability; corporate social responsibility; corporate-borne disease; vested interests.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Alcoholic Beverages / supply & distribution*
  • Commerce*
  • Food Industry*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Lobbying
  • Marketing
  • Public Health