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GAPC 2017: Social media: the key to greater alcohol policy advocacy

The increasing rates of alcohol consumption, financial impact, and social and health implications, are creating substantial burdens within Southern African communities. Zimbabwe alone, has three million people suffering from alcoholism – a problem recognised as one of their four top diseases.

Tungamirai Zimonte believes social media can be used effectively to strengthen and integrate alcohol policy advocacy in Southern Africa.

“It is an important platform in getting information on advocacy issues taking place in various countries and posting on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter,” said Mr Zimonte.

Tungamirai Zimonte is the National Coordinator at the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance, an organisation which aims to build capacity both in terms of knowledge of alcohol-related problems and the ability to share this knowledge and lobby for alcohol policy change.

In his Global Alcohol Policy Conference (GAPC) presentation, Integrating Social Media in Alcohol Policy Advocacy Among Youth in Southern Africa, Mr Zimonte analysed the effectiveness of social media integration in regional alcohol policy advocacy in Southern Africa.

Mr Zimonte conducted two youth alcohol advertising advocacy training workshops in South Africa and Zambia to strengthen South Africa’s perceptions of alcohol advertising reforms through the social media platform WhatsApp.

His presentation outlined social media’s capacity to develop and strengthen participation, share alcohol-related experiences, and motivate and support communities on alcohol-related issues.

In this short video, filmed at GAPC 2017 in Melbourne, Mr Zimonte shares how social media’s capacity to influence and inform is key to future alcohol advocacy.

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Drink Tank aims to generate meaningful commentary and debate about alcohol policy, and to provide a platform for all members of the Australian community to share their views and concerns.

Our goal is for the Drink Tank community to engage in robust discussion about alcohol, highlighting a broad spectrum of views and voices, and ultimately to raise the profile of alcohol as an issue of national importance.

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