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I attended the 25th Anniversary of Liberation Day in Kigali on July 4, 2019, commemorating the end of the genocide. The contrast between “then” and today was extraordinary.
Rwanda has made progress since 1994 toward attaining many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Some drivers of change are:
During the Kigali Global Dialogue held July 3-5 that straddled Liberation Day, many of these issues were discussed from a Rwandan and broader African and Indian perspective. For example, we learned about the development of Kigali Innovation City to galvanize scientific progress. Speakers provided tangible examples of how the increased engagement of women in high-level policy settings affects what is discussed and how issues are addressed. Societal needs and those closely related to SDGs get high priority.
One of the most compelling speeches was by the Former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed. His speech on ending climate change carried the same urgency and focus Rwanda is achieving more broadly. He outlined many features of a desired and needed coal-free era that I believe have implications for a smoke-free world, including:
Nasheed also stressed the importance of supporting the likely “losers” in the energy change process – coal miners. For tobacco control, the analogous losers are tobacco farmers, especially individuals in poor rural communities of Africa and Asia where smallholder women farmers are common. The demand for tobacco is decreasing and will affect already vulnerable populations. The tobacco farmers know this and so do their governments. Increased support for ways to transition smallholder tobacco farmers to alternative livelihoods makes both economic and ethical sense.
These discussions took place 25 years after the genocide ended in Rwanda. Back then, the future looked bleak. Today, what was deemed unthinkable, is happening. The economy is thriving. Women are in many leadership positions. Science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship are activating and exciting young people.
These ingredients apply to what is needed to transform the tobacco industry. But such transformation starts with a clear vision of what is possible and desirable – something still missing among the legacy leadership of global tobacco control.
Mission is to eliminate smoking worldwide by supporting cessation & harm reduction #research, and transitioning tobacco #farmers to alternative livelihoods.
Tobacco Free Portfolios conducted a special webinar for #WorldNoTobaccoDay. We agree that the financial community can and should hold #tobacco companies accountable. The Tobacco Transformation Index may be a tool that can help bring us closer to that goal. https://bit.ly/2B2IVBD
The @WHO suggests that there are 1.3 billion users of #tobacco globally. If we take advantage of new #cessation and #harmreduction tech we can save millions from a tobacco-related death. Click here to read more from @SmokeFreeFdn president, Derek Yach: https://bit.ly/2M4mFti
On May 29, Derek Yach (@swimdaily) will join other opinion leaders for the #CataniaConversation, a webinar dedicated to filling the gaps in communication on #TobaccoHarmReduction and #HarmReduction for a healthy life.
#CataniaConversation: Pleased to moderate the first of it's kind webinar for #journalists & #opinion leaders with a focus on #scientific communication & harm reduction. https://cataniaconversation.coehar.org/1st-webinar-catania-conversation/ @CoeharUnict @CC_Coehar
Dyborn Chibonga (@decee2012), @AGRAAlliance's regional head of #Malawi and #Mozambique, joins Derek Yach on the Global Health Perspectives podcast. They discuss Malawi’s #tobacco farmers & #COVID19. Dyborn is a member of @SmokeFreeFdn's board of directors. https://bit.ly/36th9Kq
CEO Insights magazine recently featured Nilesh Jain and the Harm Reduction Research & Innovation Center (HRRIC). Click here to read more about how/why Nilesh and the HRRIC are trying to broaden the research on #tobaccoharmreduction tools in #India. https://bit.ly/2yv60w8
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