African First Ladies Laud Progress Against HIV, Urge More Efforts

Kigali, 2 December 2019 – Six African First Ladies today renewed their commitment to ending childhood AIDS in Africa by 2030 and keeping their mothers healthy. This came during a high-level meeting organized by the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) on the sidelines of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) in Kigali, Rwanda.

The event was an opportunity to reflect on the unique national, regional and global leadership role that African First Ladies play in the fight against HIV.

The First Lady of Rwanda, HE Madam Jeannette Kagame welcomed the participants to Kigali and spoke about the 17-year journey OAFLAD has made since it was established. She said “Celebrating our gains should also lead us to a deeper analysis of our journey thus far.”

The First Lady of Congo and OAFLAD President, HE Madam Antoinette Sassou N’guesso opened the meeting by saying, “Under our leadership we have seen successes in the fight against HIV and AIDS … I would like to assure our partners and the population that the First Ladies … . will continue to lend their strong support to the fight against HIV and AIDS.”

The high-level meeting celebrated successes in the HIV response and the transformative leadership of the First Ladies, but also highlighted challenges such as the slowing momentum in cutting new HIV infections and the large funding shortfalls.

The speakers included the First Lady of Botswana, H.E. Madam Neo Jane Masisi, First Lady of Chad, H.E. Madam Hinda Deby Itno, First Lady of Ghana, H.E. Madam Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady of Niger, H.E. Madam Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou.