KAMPALA – Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) has launched a competition dubbed BeSmart DrinkSmart, Beera Mu Class to promote a culture of responsible drinking amongst youth.
The campaign that was launched on September 1 at Protea Hotel in Kampala will run in five universities namely Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Mbarara University of Science & Technology (MUST), Soroti University and KIU University.
The students from the selected universities will battle themselves in a creative extravaganza dubbed the ‘Inter-Uni Smart Drinking Challenge’ spanning four weeks with an aim of reducing the harmful use of alcohol among the youth and University students.
David Valencia, the Managing Director NBL said through the campaign, they aim at leading the industry in contributing to the reduction of the harmful use of alcohol.
He explained that at NBL, they believe in and share the WHO and UN Sustainable Development Goals’ ambition to reduce the harmful use of alcohol by 10% by 2025.
“The Inter-Uni Smart Drinking Challenge, one of these, is aimed at influencing social norms and individual behaviours by challenging University students to submit the best ideas to encourage responsible behaviour among Youth,” he said.
NBL has invested Ugx 200M in the Beera Mu Class (Be Smart), which will see students compete in written, video, graphics and social media content forms to create winning concepts based on the theme BeSmartDrinkSmart, Beera Mu Class.
Onapito Ekomoloit, the Legal & Corporate Affairs Director at NBL shared that they intend to create an interactive forum of champions of the behaviours and social norms that embody Smart Drinking in various universities in the country.
He explained that they want to change lives together with their consumers such as the students.
Officiating at the ceremony, Mr Mondo Kyateka, the Assistant Commissioner Youth & Children in the Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social development noted that Youth in Uganda are the youngest population in the world, with 77% of its population being under 25.
He said these need to be tapped into to bring about the needed change in society.
“I challenge youth to be problem solvers. Such a campaign will stimulate the creativity of University students and go a long way to solve alcohol abuse in our society. University students are at risk of substance abuse such as alcohol so this campaign is fitting,” he shared.
Ms Claire Asiimwe, the Project Manager explained that NBL through various CSR programs, has continued advocating for responsible consumption as well as supporting initiatives to formalize illicit alcohol in order to contribute to the reduction of harmful use of alcohol.
She shared that NBL’s Smart Drinking goals have over the years been delivered through partnerships, a set of programs and initiatives for instance, in bars activations, awareness campaigns in traditional media and social media, social behavioural change campaigns such as No Excuse, road safety programs among others.
The Inter University Smart Drinking Challenge/Campaign is NBL’s response to the current challenge of the growing number of youths and students above the age of 21 who consume alcohol recklessly and as a result many have fallen victim of mental illness.
The campaign is therefore geared towards identifying practical ideas from students on how the reduction of the harmful use of alcohol in middle age consumers in Uganda can be achieved.
Students taking part in this challenge not only stand a chance to win Ugx. 3million in cash prizes but also exposure and opportunities to interact with their potential future employers.