In a recent article in Time Magazine declared that “ Africa has a drinking problem,” is this evident? Can it be backed up?
According to Africa Check website researcher Kate Wilkinson, she stresses that drinking problems in Africa vary in the 55 countries.
“There are different attitudes towards alcohol. Different religious beliefs about consuming alcohol. And to simply make this broad generalization about the continent doesn’t give us much insight,” she says.
Global alcohol consumption statistics are really had to come by and the numbers that are there are are a bit old. Even for World Health Organization’s Global Status Report 2011 on Alcohol and Health rely on data from 2003-2005.
A suggestion by The WHO report says that more than two-thirds (70.8%) of Africans have not touched a drop of alcohol for a year.
Kate Wilkinson explains, “That’s largely because many African countries have large Muslim populations.”
“If you look at how many people are lifetime abstainers they don’t drink alcohol at all and never have – that’s 57.3%.” she further adds.
Of course there are some alcoholics in Africa but that hardly paints a picture of an entire continent struggling with alcohol.
To some extent the data can be relied on while the numbers of WHO may not appear to support. Time article claims that Africa has a drinking problem. Alcoholism is on the rise as beverage multinationals venture their businesses in Africa.
For additional commentary check Is Africa the drunk continent? How Time Magazine ignored the data .