The Ugandan government has announced plans to increase the legal age for consuming alcohol from 18 to 21.
The World Health Statistics 2023 Report ranks Uganda among the leading countries for high rates of alcohol consumption.
According to the WHO report, it is estimated that Ugandans currently consume 12.2 litres of alcohol per person annually, which is significantly higher than the global average.
“Research has shown that if someone has not taken an addictive substance by 21, they are much less likely to use addictive substances later in life,” Dr Hafsa Lukwata, the Ministry of Health commissioner for mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, told the media.
“There has been a public outcry over substance abuse in young people,” Dr Lukwata added.
She said that parliament will discuss the age limit, among other measures, in the soon-to-be-presented Alcohol Control Bill.