Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire | 19 March 2019 — HE Festus Mogae - Former President of Botswana has paid glowing tribute to the leadership of Côte d’Ivoire regarding the progress made in fighting the AIDS scourge, during his two day country-visit, at the invitation of President Alassane Outarra. During the visit, President Mogae held meetings with President Alassane Outarra; the Minister of Health, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, the President of Senate, the HIV & AIDS Parliamentary Caucus, and Representatives of Civil Society Organizations.
Former President Mogae hailed President Outarra for his leadership and dedication in the pursuit to end AIDS in his country. In recommending enhanced domestic financing towards AIDS response, Mogae noted that it was encouraging that the Côte d’Ivoire presidency was already acutely aware of diminishing external funding towards the health sector. He noted and acknowledged the decision by President Outarra to allocate an additional USD10 million towards the AIDS budget for Côte d’Ivoire in the next budget.
Mogae pointed out that, while the country’s leadership deserved commendation, a lot more still needed to be done in the HIV & AIDS response. He encouraged all stakeholders to work collaboratively towards ensuring that nobody is left behind, including aiming assiduously to attain the ambitious United Nations 90-90-90 target of ending AIDS by the year 2030.
The other interventions that President Mogae recommended towards ending AIDS include continued advocacy in prevention and care; elimination of user fees for HIV and AIDS patients; continued advocacy to stem stigma and discrimination - particularly against key populations; and a concerted effort towards legislative reform.
Mogae is Chairperson of The Champions for an AIDS Free Generation in Africa - an ensemble of Former African Heads of State & other prominent personalities committed to an AIDS-free generation. Individually and collectively, the Champions rally and support leaders in the African continent towards ending AIDS. The Champions transcend political partisanship to speak freely and independently about the issues that need solutions, both publicly and behind the scenes.