Alcohol is a universal beverage, but the rate of consumption in Africa is particularly on the high side. However, it is not all African countries that are guilty of this outrageous alcohol consumption. There are those ones I’ll love to call “The Chiefest of Drunkards”. The surprising aspect of it is that according to latest records, the countries you may think will top this list could scarcely be found here. Based on the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, the following African countries reported the highest annual alcohol consumption on the continent, measured by the amount of pure ethyl alcohol consumed per capita, per year in people aged 15 and above.
10. Tanzania – 7.7 Litres per capita, per annum
Tanzania is not known to be a rich country, with almost half of the population living below a dollar per day. This may be the reason for their resorting to locally made alcohol which is cheaper and of course more highly concentrated. Hence, only 0.2% comes from wine, 11% from beer, 1.8% from spirits, and a whopping 87% from other types uncounted for. It was discovered that more than 25% of males consume excessive alcohol, while almost 15% of women do same in Tanzania. Excessive alcohol consumption and abuse has continued to be on the increase in the country such that the government is working seriously towards making provisions for the treatment of ailments or disorders emerging from excessive alcohol drinking and dependency.
9. Botswana – 7.96 Litres per capita, per annum
The Diamond rich Botswana also consumes a lot of alcohol, with 42% coming from categories that were not accounted for, 57% goes to beer, and this may be due to the high consumption of Botswana’s national beer, St Louis. Though many (locals and visitors alike) say that St. Louis is worse than the cheapest light beers found elsewhere in the world. In its place, many go for beer imports from nearby South Africa or Namibia.
8. Gabon – 9.32 Litres per capita, per annum
The preferred type of alcoholic drink for Gabonians is clear. While 10% and 22% of alcohol consumption in Gabon comes from wine and spirits respectively, 68% comes from beer. Gabon is a dream nation for all alcohol aficionado, because it has the cheapest priced alcoholic beverages in Africa and only second to the Russian Federation in the world. This is so mostly because alcohol importation is tax-free in the country. Gabon’s Regab is also the cheapest alcohol in the country which could cost as low as $0.7.
7. South Africa – 9.46 Litres per capita, per annum
South Africa is a country with a rich economy. Therefore it is not surprising that 56% of their alcohol consumption comes from legally brewed Beer, while 17%, 16%, and 11% come from wine, spirits, and “other types” respectively. South African is among the African countries where alcohol is enjoyed the most, this is mostly noticeable in the numerous beer joints and bars which characterize the streets and roads of the country. Alcohol is easily purchased from bottle stores, supermarkets, bars and shebeens and other unlicensed liquor outlets, which outnumber licensed ones, particularly in disadvantaged communities. It is also well promoted in ceremonies and social gatherings.
6. Burundi – 9.47 Litres per capita, per annum
Just 0.1% above South Africa, Burundi is another country that care nothing about wines and spirits as these did not make up even a percentage of their alcohol intake. Locally made alcohol took a big chunk of 81% while beer took the remaining 19%. Their favorite alcoholic drink is actually the one they call urwarwa, that is, banana wine. According to discoveries, 24% of Burundi youths start regular intake of alcoholic drinks even before the age of 13.