The Anti-Tobacco network is a Civil Society Movement established in 2011 with a mission is to create an enabling environment, where stakeholders in various institutions can work together in a coordinated manner, to make a lasting impact in controlling and reducing tobacco use in Botswana.Our aimis to assist the Government of Botswana to implement the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. We recognise the complex nature of the convention and are fully aware that no Government can perfectly implement its provisions without the strong partnership with the NGOs. This conference brings together a diverse audience from government, civil society and the private sector to come and stake stock of our strategies in controlling the use of tobacco in Botswana. The conference comes at a time when tobacco control is an important component of the 2030 development agenda. Our key focus is working together to take bold steps for policy change in tobacco control and to create sustainability of tobacco control in Botswana. It is our expectation that conference participants will leave with first, an understanding of key tobacco prevention and control issues and a roadmap for collaborative work that will sustains our long-term vision.
Second, we believe participants will leave the conference with a clear understanding of the important role they play in creating a country where everyone is free from the harms caused by tobacco. Finally, we expect conference participants to leave with confidence and a sense of urgency to use newly acquired knowledge and skills to shape the future of tobacco control in Botswana. The theme for this conference, Tobacco, a silent looming epidemic, Act Now serves as a wake up call to all of us that we can no longer wait or watch the perpetuation of a product that was designed to kill. We are honored to have Dr Saloojee and Mr Onyango with us today. These are are esteemed experts in tobacco control. Welcome to Botswana! Finally, we are greatly honored to have the honorable Minister of Health Mme Makgato with us this morning to officiate the opening of this conference. We know your busy schedule and therefore being here today is a sign of you unending commitment to public health and to the combating of tobacco control in Botswana.
Welcome Remarks by Jacob Sesinyi, Board Chairman of the Anti-Tobacco Network (ATN) at the National Tobacco Control Conference held on 11-12 July, 2017 at Phakalane, Gaborone