Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Former presidents unite to champion health issues in Africa

26 November 2018

CLGF was today delighted to welcome not one, but two former presidents to its London headquarters as part of a packed programme of events. 


HE Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana, and HE Joachim Chissano, former President of Mozambique are in London in their capacity as Champions for an AIDS Free Generation in Africa, to speak about the right to health and inclusive healthcare during the CPA Westminster Seminar, on 27 November 2018. The objective of the event is to facilitate dialogue between Commonwealth parliamentarians and parliamentary officials on how stigma and discrimination against key populations continues to present a barrier to access to health services and an AIDS-free generation in Africa and beyond. In this private roundtable dialogue, the champions will share their views on why securing the human rights of key populations, including sexual and gender minorities is essential for guaranteeing the health of all and - leaving no one behind. Participants will be attendees of the CPA Westminster Seminar.


Talking to people at the local level


After being introduced to CLGF staff, discussions with Secretary-General, Dr Greg Munro and others proved to be very productive, looking at the synergies between the work of the Champions and existing activities at local government level. Explaining that the AIDS epidemic was at its most prevalent while they were serving presidents, and that it represented one of the main challenges of their time in office, HE Mogae and HE Chissano said that there was no option but to face it head-on. Both former presidents took on the role of Champion to ensure that their work in reducing the numbers of people succombing to the disease would continue. There was broad consenus that tackling AIDS could only be achieved by working with, and talking to people at the local level.

The visit to Commonwealth House was arranged to meet members of the 'Hub' - which comprises three organisations working across the Commonwealth, including CLGF.  

AIDS free generation


Champions for an AIDS Free Generation is a distinguished group of former presidents and influential African leaders - currently standing at 13 - committed to an AIDS-free generation. Individually and collectively, the Champions rally and support regional leaders towards ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat. The Champions transcend political partisanship to speak freely and independently about the issues that need solutions, both publicly and behind the scenes. The network was first launched in 2008 by His Excellency Festus Mogae, the Former President of the Republic of Botswana and, since this time, the number of Champions has increased with an unwavering level of commitment.



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