Health Experts in AIDS, tuberculosis and Malaria convene for the 2019 AIDS Watch Africa Experts Consultative Meeting to deliberate on matters which require renewed political commitment by Africa’s Heads of States and Government.

14 November 2019 – Kigali, Rwanda: By the time you finish reading this sentence, nearly three people will
have died either of AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria in Africa. This is unacceptable and has to change. To advance
the African-led fight against the three diseases, AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) is convening experts working in the
three diseases across African Union Member States for a two-day consultative meeting to take stock on issues
which need the attention of AU Member States’ Heads of States and Governments during the AU Summit in
February 2020.

“African countries are fast-evolving to a cross-border exchange economy which means that we have to combat
diseases jointly to ensure health for all. This forum is a good opportunity for African countries to exchange
experience and expertise to control and manage diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” remarked Dr.
Ayat Haggag, Undersecretary for Endemic Diseases, Ministry of Health and Population, Egypt.

Dr. Benjamin Djoudalbaye, Head of Health Policy and Diplomacy Africa CDC urged experts and partners to use
their humanly possible strength, wisdom and technical expertise to assist the African Union Commission to
achieve the set objectives of the meeting.

“Your contribution will shape strategic undertaking of the Commission to enhance regional integration and
facilitate policy and strategy setting, coordination, consensus building and advocacy, as well as monitoring and
reporting on progress in implementing decisions and continental strategies,” he echoed.

Speaking on behalf of development partners, Dr. Clémence Bare Director, UNAIDS Liaison Office to the African
Union and UNECA emphasized on the importance of fostering strong synergies between African countries to
advance and monitor collective efforts in the implementation of the Catalytic Framework to end AIDS,
tuberculosis, and malaria by 2030 and Africa health strategy.

“Africa needs to adjust promptly and sustain its efforts to protect its citizens. We need to involve the youth of the
continent as a strength, embrace innovation, synergies, scientific knowledge and reinforce strategic
partnerships,” she added.

Mr. Fitsum Lakew Representative from Civil Society Organisation recognised that Africa has come a long way in
addressing the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria yet more needs to be done to ensure equitable
access to quality health services. He then concluded by saluting the Commission for providing a platform for civil
society to play a key role in health response and AU Member States to ensure sustained and impactful
resources for health in Africa.

The experts have deliberated on the milestones attained by AWA through 2018-19 including:
Acceleration of efforts to implement the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa Business Plan.
The Heads of State and Government adopted the Draft Treaty for the establishment of the Africa Medicine
Agency (AMA) during their 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly on 11 February 2019 in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia. To date, the AMA treaty has one ratification and 5 signatories.

Increased political will and commitment towards increased financing for health in Africa. Heads of State
and Government endorsed the Africa Leadership Meeting-Investing in Health (ALM) Declaration in February
2019 which calls on AU Member States to increase resources allocated to health, among other things. The
Commission, through AIDS Watch Africa, held its first technical working group meeting to discuss the roadmap of implementing the Declaration. Deliverables include digitization of the 2019 Africa Scorecard on Health
Financing, regional health financing hubs, an accountability framework and biennial consultative meeting with
Ministers of Health/Finance.

Furthermore, 24 AU Member States pledged a cumulative total of USD 75.20 million for the Sixth Global Fund
Replenishment Cycle (2020-2022). This is a 48% increase in pledges from African countries compared to the
Fifth Replenishment Cycle (2017-2019).

Free to Shine Campaign hits 22 in number of country-launches. Under the leadership of Ministries of Health
and respective Offices of the First Lady, national stakeholders and community leaders, the campaign has been
launched in 22 countries (Niger, Congo, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Burundi, Chad,
Lesotho, Angola, Cap Verde, Mali, Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Central African Republic, Zambia, Kenya, Namibia,
Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Liberia ) Increasing interest by countries to launch the Zero Malaria Starts With Me Campaign. The event is co-led by RBM Partnership to End Malaria and has thus far been launched in Mozambique, Uganda, Zambia, Niger, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Eswatini, Gambia and Tanzania have rolled out the campaign.

As we wrap up the meeting today, there will be presentation of the 2019 Africa Scorecard on Domestic Health
Financing to move along the conversation on health financing with the aim to nurture learning and improve
accountability. There will also be a panel discussion on the power of advocacy and the role of community health
workers in the journey to end of the three diseases by 2030. Commendable progress has been made in tackling
the three diseases through advocacy, but a great deal of championing must be done in the decades to come.
Supplementary effort must be made to empower vulnerable members of the society, governments, the media,
and academia to raise their voices, hence the panel discussions.

The three diseases alongside issues of the inadequate health financing are afflicting attainment of equitable,
quality health care for all. Bringing together different stakeholders enhances global solidarity and joint effort to
attain a healthier, happier Africa. The conversations during the 2019 AWA Experts Meeting will build on the draft
decisions submitted for consideration by Heads of States and Government during the AU Summit 2020.


For media and interview inquiry contact:
Ms. Whitney Mwangi
AIDS Watch Africa – African Union Commission

About AIDS Watch Africa
Website: and
Twitter: @aidswatchafrica
AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) is a statutory entity of the AU with the specific mandate to lead advocacy, resource
mobilization and accountability efforts to advance a robust African response to end AIDS, TB and malaria by
2030. AWA was created following a special summit of African Heads of State and Government in April 2001 in
Abuja, Nigeria, to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and other related infectious diseases.
The AWA Heads of State and Government Action Committee (AWA Action Committee) serves as the primary
structure of AWA. The AU Chairperson serves as the AWA Chairperson. The Secretariat is located within the
AUC Department of Social Affairs, Division of AIDS, TB, Malaria and Other Infectious Diseases.
The overall objective of the AWA Experts Consultative Meeting is to undertake in-depth discussion around
issues impeding the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as public health threats in Africa. The meeting is

annual and provides a platform to highlight issues that should be tabled to Heads of States and Government in
AU Member States during the successive AU Summit.