Panafrican News Agency

Former African presidents, influential persons to hold high-level dialogue on HIV/AIDS

Gaborone, Botswana (PANA) - Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation, a distinguished group of former presidents and influential African leaders committed to an AIDS-free generation, will hold a high-level political dialogue on an inclusive HIV response in Botswana next week.

The event will include a Youth and Champions Dialogue and a press conference during their visit. The events will take place at the Gaborone International Conference Centre on 29-30 August. 

Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation is an organization chaired by Botswana's former President, Festus Moage (Botswana) and comprises of former presidents Joaquim Chissano (Mozambique), Kgalema Motlanthe (South Africa), Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania), Alpha Konare (Mali), Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia), Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Joyce Banda (Malawi) and Hifikepunye Pohamba (Namibia).

The prominent personalities include South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Specioza Wandira, former vice president of Uganda, Prof. Mariam Were, a Kenyan health advocate and Justice Edwin Cameron of South Africa. 

According to Ephraim Keoreng of the American Embassy information desk, the Champions will advocate for increased commitment to the acceleration of the HIV response and its implementation in Botswana.

They will advocate that no one is left behind and that political, social and legal barriers are addressed in order to fast-track ending AIDS. 

The Champions who will take part in the Botswana visit are Mogae, Champions Chairperson, Joyce Banda, Motlanthe, Pohamba, Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, former Vice President of Uganda and Professor Miriam Were, former Chancellor of Moi University, Kenya. The Champions will be joined by Gunilla Carlsson, former deputy executive director of UNAIDS. 

Individually and collectively the Champions rally and support regional leaders towards ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat.

The Champions transcend political partisanship to speak freely and independently about the issues that need solutions, both publicly and behind the scenes

-0- PANA MS/MA 23Aug2019