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.
- 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
Champions Secretariat Gaborone | Makhamokha Mohale | +267 77445592 or +267 74166804; | firstname.lastname@example.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