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AIDS Watch Africa Champions Map out Action to Accelerate Efforts towards Ending AIDS, TB and Malaria

ABUJA, 17 July 2013 (AWA) - The AIDS Watch Africa Champions met Tuesday 16 July 2013, at the sidelines of the Abuja Special Summit on AIDS, TB and Malaria and mapped out action to accelerate advocacy, accountability and resource mobilisation efforts towards ending AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa. The meeting of Heads of State who are the AIDS Watch Champions hosted by the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan adopted a schedule of initiatives to be implemented in the last 900 days before the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. AIDS Watch Africa (AWA), an advocacy platform for African Heads of State on AIDS, TB and Malaria appointed the champions on 26 May 2013 during the African Union summit celebrating 50 years of African Unity.


“By establishing the AWA Champions structure, we will broaden the African voice and strengthen the capacity of AWA to mobilise resources for addressing gaps in AIDS, TB and Malaria financing through strategic advocacy efforts and mutual accountability”, said H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, who is also the chair of the African Union (AU) and AIDS Watch Africa.


The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said the appointment of AWA champions further demonstrates Africa’s strong political commitment to moving forward the African Union Roadmap for Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity for AIDS, TB and Malaria:


“AWA Champions are a clear demonstration of strong commitment by our leaders”, said Dr. Zuma “They will focus on the instutionalisation of accountability, efficient use of resources and delivering results for people”, she said.


Champions Action Plan
To leverage and consolidate on the work that AWA Champions are already doing at the continental level Gabon will lead efforts to champion the getting to Zero campaign in Africa- Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths. Côte d’Ivoire will champion strengthened partnerships for AIDS, TB while Malawi will champion the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV. Tunisia will champion the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa to ensure access to affordable and quality assured drugs. Tanzania will champion malaria control and build on the role that the president has played in the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.


The action plan sets out clear activities for the Champions to utilise Regional Economic Communities as the fundamental pillars for the implementation of the AU Roadmap, galvanise strong linkages with various continental initiatives including the Elders, Champions for an HIV Free Generation, Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), Regional Health Organisations (RHOs) and support the speedy implementation of the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization Programme (AMRH) and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA) initiatives.


AIDS Watch Africa was founded at the Abuja Special Summit in 2001 to set the agenda for top-level leadership for the African AIDS response and in January 2012 its mandate was expanded to include TB and Malaria. The organisation took on responsibility for monitoring progress toward the three action pillars of the Roadmap, which include: (1) creating more diversified, balanced, and sustainable financing models; (2) expanding access to medicines through local production and regulatory harmonization; and (3) establishing strong leadership, governance, and oversight.


AIDS Watch Africa Members
The AWA Champions are H.E Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Chairperson of the African Union and AIDS Watch Africa, H.E Armando Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique, Vice-Chairperson of AIDS Watch Africa, H.E Armando Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique, Vice-Chairperson of AIDS Watch Africa, H.E Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, AWA Champion for West Africa, H.E Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic of Gabon, AWA Champion for Central Africa, H.E Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, AWA Champion for East Africa, H.E Joyce Banda, President the Republic of Malawi, AWA Champion for Southern Africa, H.E Moncef Marzouki, President of the Democratic Republic of Tunisia, AWA Champion for North Africa.


For more information, visit the AU website:


Interview requests should be directed to Mrs. Tankou Azza Esther I Senior Editorial Officer | Information and Communication Directorate | African Union Commission I Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 | Fax: (251) 11 551 78 44 | E-mail:| Web I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia


Tawanda Chisango I AIDS WATCH AFRICA (AWA) Program Advocacy & Partnership Expert | Social Affairs | African Union Commission I Mobile +251934167052 | E-mail: | Web I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia