TIME Examines Rise Of Alcoholism In Africa

TIME examines a rise in alcoholism rates in Africa, which boasts “the highest proportion of binge drinkers in the world,” writing, “The continent has the perfect emerging-market conditions: a relatively small amount of commercial alcohol is being consumed; there is a rising middle class with disposable income; a huge market of young people is about to come of age; and there is an informal moonshine sector, up to four times the size of the commercial market, that governments would like to control,” the magazine writes. “But Africa is in no shape to cope with an influx of alcohol,” the magazine notes, adding, “Primary health care providers aren’t equipped to deal with the health effects. There is little or no recourse for irresponsible acts like driving while intoxicated. Chronic corruption means every new control measure is an opportunity for police to solicit bribes.” However, “[g]overnments are starting to address the issue, not least because it could damage their growing economies,” TIME writes. The magazine focuses on Kenya, where “12 percent of those ages between 15 and 24 are hooked on alcohol, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announced at the country’s second alcohol-and-drug-abuse conference in June” (Hatcher, 8/9).