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Cosmopolitan Professionals in Africa



Working and living in the city, Cosmopolitan Professionals earn between $700 and $1000 per month, which they spend (using cash, credit cards and, increasingly, mobile services) at supermarkets and shopping malls. They also still frequent traditional, informal stalls and markets for small, low value items such as bread. Cosmopolitan Professionals often reach these retail locations using their own cars and motorcycles.

Representing between two and three percent of Sub-Saharan Africans, Cosmopolitan Professionals often have worked or studied abroad and have a high awareness of global brands. They access content and entertainment via a wide variety of media, including print, radio, satellite TV, and the Internet (including social media). Growing broadband penetration and falling access costs are fueling this trend. Driven by the need for convenient, fashionable, high-quality products that complement their busy, work-driven lives, Cosmopolitan Professionals spend money on things that reinforce their professional image: businesscasual clothes (often purchased abroad), hair care products and footwear. Cosmopolitan Professionals, often doing well in their careers, support poorer family members through cash remittances and occasional purchases.

Cosmopolitan Professional Profile Abuya is a 35-year-old married woman in Kenya with a degree in economics from the University of Nairobi. She works as a financial controller for a multi-national corporation. Abuya and her husband recently moved into a new apartment and have bought several new household goods, including a vacuum cleaner, a refrigerator and a television. When dining out for business or leisure, she might have an Amarula (a liqueur) over ice and check Facebook on her mobile phone while she waits for her colleagues or friends.

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Alcohol Use and Your Health




Drinking too much can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use leads to about 88,000 deaths in the United States each year, and shortens the life of those who die by almost 30 years. Further, excessive drinking cost the economy $249 billion in 2010. Most excessive drinkers are not alcohol dependent.

excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. These are most often the result of binge drinking. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems.

Short-Term Health Risks


•Motor vehicle crashes







•Sexual assault

•Intimate partner violence

Alcohol poisoning

Reproductive health

•Risky sexual behaviors

•Unintended pregnancy

•Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV



•Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs


RisksChronic diseases

•High blood pressure

•Heart disease


•Liver disease

•Digestive problems



•Mouth and throat



Learning and memory problems


•Poor school performance

Mental health



Social problems

•Lost productivity

•Family problems


Alcohol dependence

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Facts about alcohol




Alcohol is an intoxicating substance. The active ingredient in drinks containing alcohol is ethanol. This is produced through the fermentation of grains, vegetables and fruits, which changes sugars into ethanol[1]. In its purest form, alcohol is colourless and has no taste. It is only during the manufacturing process (when other ingredients are added to the ethanol) that alcoholic drinks begin to vary in taste, smell, and colour. Often, alcohol is mistaken as a stimulant drug. This is because its consumption may initially cause the drinker to feel relaxed or even excited, depending on the social situation they are in and other environmental factors. For these reasons, alcohol is the most commonly used mood-changing drug in Australia[1]. However, alcohol is actually a depressant drug. When consumed, it depresses the actions of the central nervous system, including heart rate and breathing rate. Concentration, coordination, balance and judgment are also adversely impacted.

How is alcohol absorbed in the body?

Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach and the small intestine. It is then distributed throughout the body, including to the brain. After initial consumption, it only takes a few minutes for alcohol to reach the brain[1]. Eating food before or while drinking will slow the absorption of alcohol, it will not prevent a person from becoming intoxicated. However, the rate at which intoxication occurs may be reduced.

How is alcohol eliminated from the body?

Short-term effects include:

The elimination of alcohol from the body takes time. Engaging in such behaviours as exercise, drinking coffee, eating greasy foods or vomiting will not speed up this process. While approximately 10% of alcohol will leave the body through urine and sweat, the majority of alcohol is broken down by the liver. It is estimated that the liver can break down one standard drink each hour[1]. What are the short-term and long-term effects of alcohol consumption? Alcohol can cause a number of short and long-term health effects to the drinker.

• relaxation;

• reduced concentration and coordination;

• increased confidence and a lowering of inhibitions;

• blurred vision and slurred speech;

• mood changes, including aggression or depression;

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Preventing Excessive Alcohol Consumption




Excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for many health and social problems, contributing to 88,000 deaths each year in the United States.1 In 2006, the estimated economic cost of excessive drinking in the U.S. was $223.5 billion.2 Drinking too much can cause immediate harm such as injuries from motor vehicle crashes, violence, and alcohol poisoning, and drinking too much over time can cause chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.1 This is designed to help public health program planners, community advocates, educators, and policymakers find proven intervention strategies—including programs, services, and policies—for preventing excessive alcohol consumption and related harms. It can help decision-makers in both public and private sectors make choices about what intervention strategies are best for their communities. This summarizes information in The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide), an essential resource for people who want to know what works in public health. Use the information to help select intervention strategies you can adapt for your community to:

1.Reduce excessive alcohol use, including binge drinking and underage drinking.

2. Reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.

3. Reduce violent crime, motor vehicle injuries, and alcohol-exposed pregnancies.

4. Reduce youth access to alcohol.


Increasing alcohol taxes. Increasing the price of alcohol by raising taxes has proven effective in reducing consumption, leading to fewer deaths and injuries due to motor vehicle crashes, liver disease, violence, and other alcohol-related problems. For every 10% increase in price, alcohol consumption is expected to decrease by more than 7%. Public health effects are expected to be proportional to the size of the tax increase. Higher alcohol prices may also reduce underage drinking.

*Dram shop liability. Dram shop (or commercial host) liability refers to laws that hold alcohol retailers liable for injuries or deaths caused by a patron who was illegally served or sold alcohol because they were either intoxicated or under the age of 21 at the time of service. Commercial host liability is effective in preventing and reducing alcohol-related harms. For example, there was a median 6.4% reduction in deaths resulting from motor vehicle crashes in states with commercial host liability. �Regulation of alcohol outlet density. Alcohol outlet density refers to the number and concentration of alcohol retailers (e.g. bars, restaurants, and liquor stores) in an area. Higher alcohol outlet density is associated with excessive alcohol use and related harms, including injuries and violence. Alcohol outlet density is often regulated by licensing or zoning regulations. States vary in the extent to which they allow local governments to regulate the licensing and placement of retail alcohol outlets.

*Electronic screening and brief interventions (e-SBI). The delivery of screening and brief interventions for excessive alcohol use using electronic devices, such as computers, is effective for reducing self-reported excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems among intervention participants. Some e-SBI programs are fully automated while others combine screening by a health professional with the automated delivery of counseling services. The use of e-SBI can reduce the amount of time required to deliver screening and counseling services.

*Enhanced enforcement of laws prohibiting sales to minors. Enforcing minimum drinking age laws through retailer compliance checks and sanctions is effective in reducing sales of alcohol to minors in commercial settings by a median of 42 percent. Enhanced enforcement programs are often part of multi-component, community-based efforts to curb underage drinking.

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