An initiative aimed at curbing smoking among girls has been launched in Accra Tuesday.
Dubbed “Sky Girls’ Empowerment Initiative” it is part of a global anti-tobacco campaign led by a UK consultancy firm, Good Business and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Traditionally Ghana has one of the lowest rates of tobacco use, but things are changing and according to the latest Global Tobacco Survey 10.6percent of girls aged 13-15 currently use some form of tobacco product in Ghana.
This pattern is reflected in other African countries and the Gates foundation has been working with Good Business to develop compelling programmes to address this potential epidemic.
First launched in Botswana three years ago, Now Available Africa, a leading Pan African Advertising agency based in Accra has been chosen to spearhead the campaign in Ghana.
Speaking Tuesday at the launch of the initiative, Benjamin Anyan, Creative Director at Now Available Africa said: “SKY is built within the girls’ world. SKY Girls connect online, on radio at hangouts and via the magazine to celebrate their shared values and interests and support each other in being true to themselves. The no-smoking message is subtly embedded in the movement’s values. That’s what makes SKY Girls exciting and unique.”
“This approach of empowering girls is designed not only to help them say no to tobacco but also to other harmful behaviours, building a generation of young women confident in their choices,” added Eliza Preston, Good Business’ Senior consultant.
According to Now Available Africa, the SKY initiative is being supported by the Christian Council and Ministry of Education noting that it would ensure that the girls have a comprehensive support system to help them stay true to themselves and become the best they can be.