Source: Esther Aidoo

youthsThe president of Botswana, Fetus Mogae has charged the youth to exhibit determination in their quest to ensure that there is Zero HIV AIDS growth rate globally. He made the comment during an interactive discussion centered on the role of African leadership in the post 2015 era. The discussion formed part of a meeting held at the 17th ICASA which was held on the theme “Now more than ever targeting Zero.”

A youth activist Samuel Kissi said it is was unfortunate that the youth are often relegated to the background in the area of decision making. He said, ensuring Zero HIV AIDS growth, should be done irrespective of a person’s race gender and background. He said the youth are not making any recommendations this year, as they want world leaders to implement recommendations made in the previous years. Samuel also urged his colleagues to do more research and be more educated about the disease. He said the war against HIV/AIDS should be intensified by the youth, as they form a vast majority and will therefore have a bigger impact.  He urged all to come onboard in reaching zero.

Dr, Spieciosa Wandira Kazibure, former vice president of Rwanda was worried about African leaders not doing much in addressing the menace. She said leaders and groups fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa, should be more proactive because  much more needs to be done, as the  Issues are still not being addressed.  According to her, the challenge warrants the need to produce capable leadership.  She however admitted that though some leaders are trying one way or the other, there is still much more to be done. She said treating AIDS as a medical issue has not helped the world in it’s fight. According to her, AIDS should be treated as a sound economic political issue.

The UNAIDS director, Michael Sidibe, said there is the need to reflect on the civil society during the post 2015 era. He acknowledged that one of the challenges facing the fight against AIDS is poverty and that this leads to the youth, being involved mainly in social vices, making them vulnerable. He called for the need to start thinking about innovative ways in addressing the problem. According to him, no region will have a greater impact in the cause against AIDS, as Africa will.  Michel said, if Africa doesn’t take the leadership role in reaching zero, they would rather be at the receiving end, and suffer the most, unlike other continents. He encouraged everybody to be proactive and not to be skeptics, thinking the fight will not be won. He was positive HIV/AIDS would end by 2030.

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