H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa- Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania hosts an interactive Youth Dialogue

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, October 2015 — H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa-Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania holds a dialogue with the youth of Tanzania.

In his opening remarks H.E. Mkapa encouraged the youth to have an open and free conversation with him. President Mkapa explained that beyond being a political leader he was a father and a grandfather, therefore the future health of the youth of Tanzania is personally important to him.

“What kind of future can they have, if they start off with all kinds of infections; between malaria, HIV, polio and others, how do we tackle these problems? These are matters of concern to me. But for a poor country I think the best way to combat disease is to prevent it.” H.E. Benjamin Mkapa

The youth were represented by a strong well rounded group who raised a diverse number of highly critical issues. Some of the issues brought up for discussion were having youth friendly services. The absences of youth friendly services were seen as a deterrent to young people seeking counselling and prevention services.

Another critical topic that was raised was female genital mutilation. “In Tanzania, risky traditional practices are still going on, for instance female genital mutilation, polygamy and inheritance of widows, would you have suggestions on how we as young leaders and you as Champions could work together to reduce or altogether eradicate this problem not just raising awareness alone” Mercy Kyando- TAYOA

It was a fruitful dialogue which addressed a varied number of key areas critical areas ranging from testing to youth centres to traditional factors to may play a factor in HIV infection rates.

 

Champions for an AIDS Free Generation, was first launched in 2008 by His Excellency Festus Mogae, the Former President of the Republic of Botswana. The Champions programme works to ensure that all children are born free from HIV in Africa and that all people have access to quality HIV prevention and treatment services. 

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation in Africa (The Champions) are keenly aware of the data on new HIV infections which tells a story of rising figures within the youth cohort across the continent.            

Equipped with this strategic information, the Champions prioritized the collaboration with, and engagement of, young people into the regional AIDS response. To do this effectively, they recognised the need to consult, interact with and listen to the views of young people. This understanding gave rise to the Youth Dialogues with The Champions series.

In keeping with their mandate, the Champions identified the engagement of youth, and youth leadership, as an effective means to ensure the health, well-being and rights of all young people.

In their advocacy outreach, the Champions intend to use their voice, status and platform to promote youth leadership, strategic partnering and collaboration with youth groups to develop HIV programmes that are youth friendly, sensitive and accessible to all young people.

 

 

The Championsare:

  • Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and Chairman of the Champions
  • Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi
  • Edwin Cameron, South Africa Supreme Court of Appeal Judge
  • Joaquim A. Chissano, former President of Mozambique
  • Kenneth D. Kaunda, former President of Zambia
  • Alpha Oumar Konaré, former President of Mali
  • Benjamin Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania
  • Kgalema Motlanthe, former Deputy President of South Africa
  • Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria
  • Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • Speciosa Wandira-Kasibwe, former Vice President of Uganda  
  • Miriam Were, former Chairperson of the Kenya National AIDS Control Council
  • Hifikepunye Pohamba, former President of Namibia

 

Contact

Champions Secretariat Gaborone | Makhamokha Mohale | +267 77445592 or +267 74166804; | mohalem@unaids.org

 

Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation is 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. www.aidsfreechampions.org

 

 

 

 

 

H.E. Festus Mogae- Former President of the Republic of Botswana partners with Youth Leaders for an AIDS free Africa

GABORONE, Phakalane Golf Estate, Botswana, 21st September 2015 — The Chairperson of The Champions, H.E. Festus Mogae-Former President of the Republic of Botswana speaks to the youth about HIV and AIDS during a Youth Dialogue.

During this dialogue the former President engaged in a discussion with empowered youth. Together, they explored ways which the youth can play a role in protecting themselves from HIV and remaining AIDS free.

President Mogae expressed his concern at the fact that the hardest hit population is the youth. “The highest rate of infection in all our sub-Saharan African countries is precisely among the young people, the working population, and the young and educated people”.

The former president encouraged youth to test for HIV, reminding them that stigma and discrimination were the biggest barriers to curbing the infecting rates of HIV.

It was an interactive discussion where they you also shared a number of creative ways the Champions could employ to better reach the youth with their messages. The youth, who represented a broad background, also expressed gratitude at the Champions efforts to hold dialogues with them. 

Champions for an AIDS Free Generation, was first launched in 2008 by His Excellency Festus Mogae, the Former President of the Republic of Botswana. The Champions programme works to ensure that all children are born free from HIV in Africa and that all people have access to quality HIV prevention and treatment services. 

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation in Africa (The Champions) are keenly aware of the data on new HIV infections which tells a story of rising figures within the youth cohort across the continent.            

Equipped with this strategic information, the Champions prioritized the collaboration with, and engagement of, young people into the regional AIDS response. To do this effectively, they recognised the need to consult, interact with and listen to the views of young people. This understanding gave rise to the Youth Dialogues with The Champions series.

In keeping with their mandate, the Champions identified the engagement of youth, and youth leadership, as an effective means to ensure the health, well-being and rights of all young people.

In their advocacy outreach, the Champions intend to use their voice, status and platform to promote youth leadership, strategic partnering and collaboration with youth groups to develop HIV programmes that are youth friendly, sensitive and accessible to all young people.

 

 

The Championsare:

  • Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and Chairman of the Champions
  • Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi
  • Edwin Cameron, South Africa Supreme Court of Appeal Judge
  • Joaquim A. Chissano, former President of Mozambique
  • Kenneth D. Kaunda, former President of Zambia
  • Alpha Oumar Konaré, former President of Mali
  • Benjamin Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania
  • Kgalema Motlanthe, former Deputy President of South Africa
  • Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria
  • Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • Speciosa Wandira-Kasibwe, former Vice President of Uganda
  • Miriam Were, former Chairperson of the Kenya National AIDS Control Council
  • Hifikepunye Pohamba, former President of Namibia

 

Contact

Champions Secretariat Gaborone | Makhamokha Mohale | +267 77445592 or +267 74166804; | mohalem@unaids.org

 

Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation is 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. www.aidsfreechampions.org

Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation meet with South African President Jacob Zuma to discuss the future of the AIDS response

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South Africa pledges full support to the Champions

PRETORIA, 14 April 2015—The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation met with the South African President, Jacob Zuma, to discuss strengthening partnerships across politics and the private sector in order to step up the response to the AIDS epidemic in South Africa and across continent..

During the meeting, Mr Zuma declared his continued support for the Champions and their efforts to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

In 2013, an estimated 6.3 million people were living with HIV in South Africa. and HIV prevalence in the country among 15–49 year olds was more than 19%. In the same year, there were 340 000 new HIV infections—a 39% decrease from 2005.

Earlier in the day, the Champions met with the Deputy President of South Africa for a wide-ranging dialogue on the AIDS response.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa gave his thanks to the Champions and assured them of his support both as Deputy President and as the Chair of the South African National AIDS Council.

The Deputy President noted the need to engage young people and committed to scaling up HIV treatment in South Africa over the next five years.

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation was launched in 2008 by Festus Mogae, the former President of Botswana. The Champions is 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. They transcend political partisanship to speak freely and independently about the issues that need solutions, both publically and behind the scenes.

The Champions are holding a three-day meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, to discuss how they can help accelerate the response to the AIDS epidemic in partnership with governments and the private sector.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most affected by the AIDS epidemic. In 2013, there were 24.7 million [23.5 million—26.1 million] people living with HIV in the region.

 

The Champions are:

  • Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and Chairperson of the Champions.
  • Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi.
  • Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique.
  • Kenneth Kaunda, former President of Zambia.
  • Alpha Oumar Konaré, former President of Mali. 
  • Benjamin William Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of South Africa.
  • Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria.
  • Hifikepunye Pohamba, former President of Namibia.
  • Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
  • Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, former Vice-President of Uganda. 
  • Edwin Cameron, Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
  • Miriam Were, former Chairperson of the Kenya National AIDS Control Council. 

 

Contact

Champions Gaborone | Makhamokha Mohale | +267 74166804 | mohalem@unaids.org

 

Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation is 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. www.aidsfreechampions.org 

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Champions come together to announce strengthened efforts for an AIDS-free generation in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, 13 April 2015The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation gathered together today to announce new efforts to ensure that all children in Africa are born free from HIV and that children living with HIV have access to life-saving treatment. Since young people continue to be deeply affected by the epidemic, the Champions also announced that they will add adolescents and HIV to their portfolio of work. 

“The Champions are determined to keep HIV high on the continental agenda,” said Festus Mogae, Chairperson of the Champions. “We will leave no one behind and we will not rest until Africa has reached the goal of an AIDS-free generation.”

During their three-day meeting, the Champions are scheduled to hold high-level discussions with the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, the Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and leading figures from the private sector.

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation was launched in 2008 by Mr Mogae, the former President of Botswana. The Champions transcend political partisanship to speak freely and independently about the issues that need solutions, both publically and behind the scenes. Since November, five new leaders have joined their distinguished ranks: Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of South Africa; Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi; Alpha Oumar Konaré, former President of Mali; Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria; and Hifikepunye Pohamba, former President of Namibia.

“Today, we come together as a strengthened group of Champions to reaffirm our commitment to ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to ensuring that mothers and children already living with HIV stay healthy,” said Ms Banda. “I am proud to be involved in the Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation.”

As the Champions reaffirmed their commitment to an AIDS-free generation, they were joined by partners that include UNAIDS, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and private sector representatives.

“The Champions have been steadfast in calling for improved HIV prevention and treatment options, and there has been progress,” said UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé. “Now, with their ranks strengthened, the Champions will be even stronger advocates to fast-track the AIDS response in Africa to ensure that every baby is born free from HIV and that their mothers stay healthy.”     

“An AIDS-free generation is within our grasp if we use the scientific knowledge, data and tools at our disposal,” said Ambassador Deborah Birx, United States Global AIDS Coordinator and United States Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. “I am inspired today by this committed group of leaders, who are using their wisdom and influence to move towards an AIDS-free generation in Africa.”  

We need leaders like the Champions who are unafraid to speak out and put AIDS at the very top of Africa’s health agenda,” said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Other partners of the Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation include UNICEF, the World Bank, the South African Development Community (SADC), the SADC Parliamentary Forum, the Economic Community of West African States and the South African Broadcasting Corporation.    

The risk of a mother living with HIV passing the virus to her child can be reduced to 5% or less if she has access to antiretroviral medicines during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding. 

“Women need strong partners like the Champions so they receive access to proper HIV counselling, treatment and prevention services,” said Lorraine Mashishi, a mother living with HIV. “Women living with HIV can avoid passing the virus on to their children if they get the support they need.”

Currently 21 of the 22 countries that are part of the Global Plan to eliminate new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive are in Africa. Since 2009, there has been a 43% decline in new HIV infections among children in these countries, but there were still 210 000 (180 000–250 000) new HIV infections among children in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013. Only 42% of children exposed to HIV were tested for the virus within the recommended two months. Without treatment, half of all children living with HIV will die by the age of two and the majority will die by the age of five.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most affected by the AIDS epidemic—in 2013, there were 24.7 million (23.5 million—26.1 million) people living with HIV in the region.

   The Champions are:

  • Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and Chairperson of the Champions.
  • Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi.
  • Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique.
  • Kenneth Kaunda, former President of Zambia.
  • Alpha Oumar Konaré, former President of Mali. 
  • Benjamin William Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of South Africa.
  • Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria.
  • Hifikepunye Pohamba, former President of Namibia.
  • Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
  • Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, former Vice-President of Uganda. 
  • Edwin Cameron, Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
  • Miriam Were, former Chairperson of the Kenya National AIDS Control Council.

 

Contact

Champions Gaborone | Makhamokha Mohale | +267 77166804 | mohalem@unaids.org

 

Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation is 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. www.aidsfreechampions.org

 

UNAIDS

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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New Champions join efforts for an AIDS-free generation in Africa

Ahead of the African Union Summit, former Presidents of Malawi, Mali, Nigeria and South Africa are among the new Champions committing to Fast-Tracking access to HIV prevention and treatment services in sub-Saharan Africa. 

 JOHANNESBURG/GABORONE, Botswana, 23 January 2015—Today, the Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation (Champions) announced that four leaders are joining their distinguished ranks.

The new Champions are: Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of South Africa; Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi; Alpha Oumar Konaré, former President of Mali; and Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria.

“We are thrilled to welcome these respected leaders, who have championed the AIDS response in their countries and on the continent,” said Festus Mogae, Chairperson of the Champions. “Now, more than ever, Africa must Fast-Track the AIDS response if we are to end the epidemic by 2030.”

Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation was first launched in 2008 by Festus Mogae, the former President of Botswana. The Champions programme works to ensure that all children are born free from HIV in Africa and that all people have access to quality HIV prevention and treatment services. 

“We have seen tremendous progress in each of our countries and we will continue to work across Africa to ensure that all babies are born free from HIV and that their mothers can remain healthy,” said Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, former Vice-President of Uganda. “We welcome the new Champions into the programme, and together we shall support Africa to play its leadership role for an AIDS-free generation.”

“I am very happy to be joining the Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation,” said former President Motlanthe. “We are committed to accelerating our response to the epidemic so that we can end AIDS as a public health threat across the continent by 2030.”

The Champions is 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.

“Through the Champions we can harness the wisdom and courage of great leaders who have changed countless lives by breaking the silence about AIDS,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

Since 2009, there has been a 43% decline in new HIV infections among children in the 21 priority countries of the Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive in Africa. There were 210 000 [180 000–250 000] new HIV infections among children in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most affected by the AIDS epidemic. In 2013, there were 24.7 million [23.5 million–26.1 million] people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

 The Champions are:

  • Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and Chairperson of the Champions.
  • Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi.
  • Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique.
  • Kenneth Kaunda, former President of Zambia.
  • Alpha Oumar Konaré, former President of Mali. 
  • Benjamin William Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of South Africa.
  • Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria.
  • Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
  • Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, former Vice-President of Uganda. 
  • Edwin Cameron, Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
  • Miriam Were, former Chairperson of the Kenya National AIDS Control Council.

 

Contact

Champions Gaborone | Makhamokha Mohale | +267 77445592 or +267 74166804 | mohalem@unaids.org

 

Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation is 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. www.aidsfreechampions.org

 UNAIDS

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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