Speech by Dr Aliou SYLLA, Secretary-General of SAA at AFRAVIH, Marseille 9th April 2022

Speech by Dr Aliou SYLLA, Secretary-General of SAA at AFRAVIH, Marseille 9th April 2022

Ladies and Gentlemen, Presidents of AFRAVI 2022

Members of the Scientific and Organizing Committees

Dear colleagues and friends

The Society for AIDS in Africa, organizers of the International Conferences on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) is very honoured by this invitation from AFRAVI 2022. We express our sincere gratitude to Professor Christine Katlama, President of AFRAVI, and congratulate the scientific committees for the quality of the work presented.

 

As it is not a hazard, the Society for AIDS in Africa, which we are privileged to represent, is a scientific society that was created in Marseille in 1989 during the 4th symposium on AIDS and cancers in Africa. Permit me to mention the names of some of the founding fathers, who were also renowned scientists, among whom:

Professor Bensliman from Morocco,

Professor Kaptue from Cameroon,

Professor Souleymane Mboup from Senegal and

Professor Femi Soyinka from Nigeria, to name but a few. Let us not forget that Dr Peter Piot played a major role in the birth of this pan-African baby.

It is a pleasure and an honour for me today, as Secretary-General to recall that in the history of the African response against HIV, the Society for AIDS in Africa was created 33 years ago here in Marseille. One of the most beautiful cities in France known for its hospitality, warmth and cultural diversity.

On behalf of my colleague members of the Board of Directors elected in Accra on 23rd March 2022, I would like to express the willingness of the Society for AIDS in Africa to further develop North-South and South-South collaborations in the areas of HIV infection, viral hepatitis, STIs, malaria and emerging diseases in the quest to strengthen our health system in Africa

We hope to strengthen this collaboration in the areas of research, technology transfer, privileged partnership, and capacity building of civil society and health workers (healthcare providers and community health actors).

To this end, the Society for AIDS in Africa is eager in building close collaboration with AFRAVI in the various fields and sectors mentioned above.

We cannot afford not to mention the advocacy to conscientize global leadership and particularly our African government’s leadership and the leadership of our parliamentarians, that the fight against HIV and AIDS is far from being won!!!

“AIDS is not a reality of the past, we need to finish the Job”

 

Dear colleagues and friends,

We are at an important crossroad where African parliamentarians must be stakeholders in our decision making in order to stop passing discriminatory and punitive laws as barriers to accessing HIV and STI testing, treatment and care.

We are at an important crossroad where the 15% included in the budget of the Country Coordinating Mechanism planned for key populations must be real and reach directly the truly vulnerable and marginalized populations.

We are at an important crossroad where the 15% allocated to health in our African countries must be a reality and parliamentarians must report to us on the implementation of this decision freely ratified by heads of state since 2005 in Abuja.

We are at an important time when African philanthropists such as “Dangote”, “Mo Ibrahim” and many others must be called to help Africa meet the challenge of an HIV-free generation by 2030.

We are at a crucial time when the financing of civil society as spearheading the response must be at the centre of all negotiations.

We are at a crossroad where platforms such as AFRAVI, IAPAC, IAS, and ICASA must work closely together by pooling their expertise to meet the goals of HIV elimination by 2030.

We have an obligation to give maximal attention to maternal, child and adolescent health the importance it deserves. It can no longer be compromised. Dear children, dear teenagers, we have HEARD your voices!

Dear colleagues and friends, it is more than ever necessary to galvanize the troops for the replenishment of the resources of the Global Fund in September 2022 to be a convincing reality despite the challenges of the moment.

Safe journey back to your respective countries or to your business and see you in the first week of December 2023 at ICASA.

Thank you.