Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire | 17 March 2019 — The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation in Africa will embark on a two-day visit to Adibjan, Côte d’Ivoire to support National Leadership in their efforts of ending AIDS as a public health threat at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire His Excellency Alassane Ouattara.
The high-level Country Visit, on 18th and 19th March, will be led by the former President of Botswana and Champions Chairperson, His Excellency Festus Gontebanye Mogae. The primary purpose of the Champions country visit is to engage National Leadership on the status of the HIV and AIDS epidemic and response in Côte d’Ivoire.
The Champions will advocate for increased domestic investment in the HIV response and in health and to ensure that the funding gap continues to decrease. Champions will also advocate to ensure that no one is left behind by addressing political, social and legal barriers to fast-track ending AIDS.
The HIV response in west and central Africa continues to lag behind the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. Both the rate of new infections and the burden of HIV remain high, accounting for 21% of new infections and 30% of death from AIDS-related illness globally. Following Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire bears the second largest HIV burden in the region with 500,000 adults and children living with HIV.
During the visit, President Festus Mogae will engage with the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, Minister of Health, President of the Senate, President of the National Assembly and the Committee on Health, AIDS, TB and Malaria and the Civil Society.
Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation in Africa
The Champions for an AIDS- Free Generation are a distinguished group of former presidents and influential African leaders committed to an AIDS-free generation. 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 publically and behind the scenes
The Champions are chaired by H.E. Festus Mogae and comprised of Former Presidents including H.E. Joaquim Chissano, H.E. Kgalema Motlanthe, H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, H.E. Alpha Konare, H.E. Kenneth Kaunda, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, H.E. Joyce Banda, H.E. Hifikepunye Pohamba and prominent personalities including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, H.E. Specioza Wandira, Prof.Mariam Were and Hon. Justice Edwin Cameron.