Africa has a Drinking Problem

Just like the fact that black teens in the U.S. smoke crack, drop out of school, or engage in carjackings, rising levels of hedonism in Africa are, according to Time, caused by capitalism (aka ‘whitey’):

…Africa has a drinking problem. It is the new darling of multinational beverage companies looking to drive profits in an increasingly booze-saturated world. 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 4 times the size of the commercial market, that governments would like to control.

But Africa is in no shape to cope with an influx of alcohol. Primary healthcare 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. While average per capita consumption figures (excluding South Africa) are very low, Africa has the highest proportion of binge drinkers in the world: 25% of those who drink, drink too much, according to the World Health Organization. Beverage companies dismiss that figure as poorly-sourced, and certainly the problem is under-researched.

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