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AfricaLive Thursday, 22 August, 2002, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Your views: Alcohol in Africa
Johnnie and Michelle
Africa Live!'s wedding couple celebrated their marriage with non-alcoholic wine
Africa Live! returned to the airwaves on 28 August, getting the continent talking again.

The topic was alcohol, and here's what some of you thought:

Alcohol is doing a lot of damage to our people, especially our young ones. It is breaking up families and destroying the traditional African family values. I do not yet know of any advantages of alcohol consumption in the African community or any other community in the world. It should be banned in Africa and the rest of the world.
Nnanna Ude, Nigeria

Alcohol has become a threat to the very existence of our society. Every day thousands of Africans get infected as a result of unsafe sex due to alcohol consumption, let alone the thousands of people killed by traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers.
Suleyman, Nigeria


Like in the west, alcoholism should be treated as a disease

Jacob Conteh, Liberia
Alcohol is more harmful than the good people claim it brings. For example, I think Cameroon is ranking amongst the highest consumers of alcohol in the world, and in Cameroon even a child of 3 months of age is being introduce in drinking alcohol. So there is no rule governing the consumption of alcohol in Cameroon. Alcohol cause nervousness, poisons the blood, and the chances of feeling pain is drastically reduced when drunk. There are too much risk taking in doing thinks when drunk.

Alcohol also drains our economy in such a way that people tend to run away from problems at home only to be involved heavily in drinking which at the end they come back home drunk, at times beat their wives, and spend the food money for the week on drinking.
Che Leonard, Cameroon

Africa should indeed begin to take a serious look at the effect of alcoholism on its population. Growing up in central Sierra Leone, I have seen many women being brutalized by drunk husbands. I even saw a vice-principal fall in front of his students after getting drunk early in the morning. This does not give good example to the young people. Like here in the west, alcoholism should be treated as a disease. And there are many alcoholics in Africa.
Jacob Conteh, USA


People drink because they have a funny feeling that their troubles can be buried when they are drunk

Humphery Oteng-Adjel, Ghana
Alcohol, like all other edibles, has its own merits and demerits. Admitted it can wreck lives and opportunites when abused, but this definitely does not mean that it is altogether wrong.
Ugwoke Maximus Emeka, Lagos, Nigeria

It is a pure waste of money when an individual begins to consume alcohol in excess. I have known people who've not been able to take care of their families because of a fondness for alcohol.
Ayiyu Fontem Yaounde, Cameroon

I think most people drink because they have a funny feeling that their troubles can be buried when they are drunk.
Humphery Oteng-Adjel, Ghana


Banning alcohol will definately bring back the Mafia

Bashir Musa, Nigeria
Banning it will create problems in terms of employment, ie those employed by breweries will lose jobs if alcohol were to be banned. Those businesses who are engaged in the sale of alcohol will be out of business. I suggest the governments must be strict on issuing licences for the sale of alcohol. But banning alcohol will not in any way solve the alcohol problem we are facing.
J.Poonyane, Botswana

Banning alcohol will definately bring back the Mafia because people will look for a way to consume it. I think we should not ban it because that way the government and the society will monitor it.
Bashir Musa, Nigeria

Commercial beer is too expensive for the common man. The local brew should be legalized under the oversight of the health departments. This will ensure hygiene preparation, legal drinking, and provide the scarce commodity tax income to the poor countries.
Bob, USA

Alcohol is good for the body and even the Bible confirms this by stating that a little of it is good for digestion. The problem with us Africans is that we consume lots of this stuff and end up in the long run getting married to the bottle.
George Bita, Jinja, Uganda

Alcohol, for many around the world, creates a sense of good feeling and bravery. It also serves to strengthen others' sexual weaknesses; pastors and well renowned leaders take in alcohol to get the zeal of talking to large crowd; I don't drink at all but am in total support of the sale of alcohol and its advertisements. If someone can take in alcohol once in a while to satisfy himself and and be of good manner, there's no problems with that.
Fred K. Davids Liberian Refugee Camp, Buduburum, Ghana

It is on record. Kenyans drink themselves silly. It makes me sad to see drunken youths in the cities and villages literally turned to cabbages by alcohol. Alcohol can't be banned but people can be helped to control their consumption.
John Kisimir, Kenya


We must appreciate the value and role of alcohol in African tradition

Lillian Atieno, Kenya
It is good for those that like it but it is not easy to stop.
Tony Oxbun, Nigeria

In my understanding alcohol is not a problems in Africa because severals cultures forbid alcohol. I don't want world people to forget the real problems for the African continent - the probems known to anyone in this globe - poverty, diseases, education, economical, technology etc...
Loch Othow, Sudan/USA

Alcohol should be banned. It is wasting many of our young boys and men. Homes are broken all because of alcohol. Children are not given good example by a druken parents.
Robert Emiantor, Nigeria

We must appreciate the value and role of alcohol in African tradition. We need to ask ourselves where did we go wrong, and what happened to those values our forefathers greatly believed in. Alcohol in the African sense should be consumed during social gatherings and during important ceremonies by a particular group of people, mostly the elders. That is what we should encourage. I think African governments should put in place strict legislation to ensure that any youth found drinking alcohol is punished heavily.
Lillian Atieno, Kenya

Living in Zimbabwe, I have seen first hand what happens to some people while drinking alcohol. Some actually axe each other over buying or not buying a beer, and over picking up women. They drink home made stuff that makes them 'penga' or crazy. They put toxic chemicals in the 'beer' to give it that extra kick. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it. I think drinking in moderation should be fine for most but in Africa they take it to the extremes which becomes dangerous.
Melissa, USA/Zimbabwe


There can be no compromise with evil and alcohol is evil

Abubakar siddiq ibn umar Sekondi, Ghana
While alcohol can be very dangerous when consumed irresponsibly, it is an industry worth billion of dollars, not only in Africa, but the whole world. Banning alcohol will cripple the economy of countries - considering that the industry starts from farmland where hob and malt is grown to the leisure industry, where the end product is consumed.
Joseph Ngugi, Kenyan (UK)

There can be no compromise with evil and alcohol is evil. Its mere use leads to false sense of values, aimlessness, lack of character, murder and more evil. The ugliest thing in creation is the drunkard who rolls on dirty floor, vomit around, and pour forth oaths and threats against his surroundings and insults imaginary enemies. Alcohol is not a medicine but a big disease. It is a formidable enemy standing in front of us and we must overthrow it.


Abubakar siddiq ibn umar Sekondi, Ghana

I take alcohol myself during weekends and I think that for me, after a hard days' work you just need a bottle of beer to reduce the tension on you. Taking in small quantities of alcohol is the only solution because a total ban wouldnt help in curbing the problem.
Isaac Asante

Alcohol should be banned for consumption for people below the age of 21. I say so because I have seen school-going students have been taking alcohol and this has affected the results of the student. Most of the students have been missing classes because the want to go out drinking. I feel the only way stop this is by banning alcohol consumption below the age of 21.
Banda David, Zambia


What Africans regard as fun or excitement is really alcoholism

Kunle Fajembola, Nigeria
Alcohol consumption is a problem, at least in South Africa. I lived there for a couple of years and found too many people spending their entire paychecks each month on drinking when their children didn't have shoes or proper clothing. Those priorties aren't in line. However, illegalizing alcohol isn't the answer. What country in Africa can enforce their current laws, let alone additional ones that would be more than overwhelming?
Jeffery, USA

Alcohol is not good, most people know that. What most people don't know is alcohol can be a big foriegn income source to back up our poor economy. We can produce and export it. In that case, poor people can get a job.
Arif, Ethiopia

As a Kenyan who has travelled and lived in other countries, I have to note that we Kenyans drink a lot compaired to other people. It used be that people would either drink occasionally or over the weekend, but things have dramatically changed in the last 10 years in that people drink at anytime of the day, thus making bars the most profitable businesses in Kenya.
Fala, Kenya

No doubt about the fact what Africans regard as fun or excitement is really alcoholism. Most are in need of treatment. Ask Nigerians in Nashville, where a Nigerian killed his family and his mother in-law. It is time bomb that no individual wants to accept.
Kunle Fajembola, Nigeria

Alcohol is nothing but chemical that weakens your immune system. Two out of every five African are intoxicated or above self-control after socializing with one another. In that condition they try to beat on their wives.
Kokpor Daynuah, Liberia/USA

I think alcohol consumption should be accepted and justified.
Alex Kamara, Sierra Leone

It is scientifically proved that light drinkers live longer than non drinkers and can escape heart attack. Therefore, it is clear that alcohol should be consumed to the extent that it is sufficient to offer its help to our body. People shoud be advised to reduce the level of alcoholic consumption to the level which is not deterimental to our health-too much of eveything is bad.
Bilisa, Ethiopia


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