South African responsible drinking champion aware.org appoints Carmen Mohapi as interim CEO

SOUTH AFRICA – The Board of Directors of the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org), has appointed Carmen Mohapi as an interim CEO of the organization, effective from 14 February.

Mohapi has more than 15 years of leadership experience within the South African alcohol industry, serving most recently as a board member and marketing director for Heineken South Africa.

Before that, she held several managerial roles at the South African Breweries and Unilever

The new appointee takes over the helm of the company from Ingrid Louw, who will be stepping down from her position with effect 31 January.

Louw joined the predecessor to aware.org – the Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) – in late 2016, and was the driving force behind its evolution to aware.org, which she launched a year later.

During her tenure, she bridged the gap between industry, government and communities in a meaningful way that delivered direct and tangible outcomes for beneficiaries of aware.org’s targeted, evidence-based interventions.

Aware.org board chairman Gavin Pike expressed appreciation for the leadership provided by Louw during her time as the CEO.

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“During her tenure, Louw strengthened governance and transformed aware.org into an organisation that all players in the alcohol value-chain could invest in as part of their responsibility to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol in the countr,” said Gavin.

Testament to this was that the liquor industry invested more than R450m in funding programme interventions and social norms initiatives to make South Africans aware of the need for socially responsible alcohol consumption to reduce alcohol harm.

Pike said that one of the biggest breakthroughs was the adoption of the Industry Code of Communication, a self-regulation framework for alcohol advertising.

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Louw highlighted that she is pleased to have contributed to addressing the major problem of alcohol misuse in the country stating, “The ability to change behaviours with regards to alcohol harm requires a multi-stakeholder, multi-faceted approach which included taking interventions back to the heart of the community and creating opportunities for change that can grow into sustainable impact in the long-term.”

Aware.org is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the alcohol industry to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol.

First launched in 1989, the organisation’s aim is to reduce alcohol related harm by creating awareness and performing ongoing research, providing effective collaboration with its partners, and implementing strong stakeholder management.

Over the years, aware.org has rolled out programmes designed to make a sustainable difference in multiple provinces, targeting Underage Drinking (UAD), Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Binge Drinking, as well as supporting and educating traders through the Responsible Traders Facilitation (RTF) Programme.

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