Jesse Jackson Gives Backing to South Africa's AIDS Plans
October 26, 2005
On Monday in Johannesburg, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition President Jesse Jackson gave his support to the South African government's HIV/AIDS efforts, saying combating the disease is crucial to the country's economic development. Jackson met with Mayor Amos Masondo to look at ways to extend a 2003 sister-city agreement between Johannesburg and New York City in which the cities agreed to share experiences with crime, poverty, unemployment, health and urbanization.
At a press briefing after the meeting -- attended by city officials and Jackson's son, Jonathan, and his daughter Jackie -- Jackson said he has long been concerned about the economic gap between countries in northern Africa and those in the south. HIV/AIDS, he said, is a major hurdle to development.
"Effort needs to be invested in this area so there can be economic growth and development to make for a healthy environment," said Jackson. "Ultimately, the image for South Africa must be seen as golden for investment and not damaged by the image of AIDS."
Masondo said the meeting would help foster greater cooperation between Johannesburg and New York, and with black Americans in general. "The fact that we have met and considered a number of issues suggests to me that there are greater possibilities for deepening our relationship with the Afro-American diaspora, and that the relationship we have with New York will find greater support and greater means and possibilities on challenges such as HIV/AIDS," he said.
Business Day (Johannesburg)
10.25.05; Chantelle Benjamin