African Leaders to Account for AIDS Grants at Abuja Conference
November 30, 2005
African leaders will account for funds and grants spent so far to fight HIV/AIDS at the upcoming 14th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), organizers said. The conference opens Dec. 4 in Abuja, Nigeria, with the theme "HIV/AIDS and the Family." UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former U.S. President Bill Clinton are among those expected to attend.
"One of the innovations at the Abuja edition of ICASA is the Leadership Forum during which African leaders and administrators will be made to account for funds they received and programs they designed to fight HIV/AIDS in their countries," said Femi Soyinka, ICASA's president. Conference discussions will also cover integrated approaches to fighting HIV/AIDS, bad social practices and poor leadership.
"The people living with AIDS, who are major stakeholders in the fight against the disease, will share their experiences with participants," Soyinka said. AIDS orphans will also take part.
Soyinka said the "paucity" of funds required a scaling down of the conference. "At the start, we were working on a $5 million budget. But due to financial hitches brought about by poor funding we are prioritizing and scaling down on our spending." A U.S. embargo on ICASA funding was lifted three weeks ago, he said, but by then "it was too late." ICASA has secured half the original budget for the conference from donor agencies and sponsors.
Agence France Presse
11.26.05; Ade Obisesan
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.