Botswana president: We’ll host 2021 AIDS conference

The president of Botswana announced on Facebook that Botswana will host next year’s African ICASA 2021 anti-AIDS conference, which was taken away from Uganda because of fears of violence there.

From the African Human Rights Media Network

Scene from ICASA 2019 in Rwanda.

The Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA), which organizes the conference. decided to move it out of Uganda after human rights activists from Kenya and South Africa launched a petition seeking the move because of recent abuses by Uganda’s police and security agencies.

Ugandan activists fighting against AIDS and for human rights in Uganda pushed to reverse the decision.

This is the statement of President Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi on Dec. 22 about the conference:

On Monday I met the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAS), organisers of the International Conference on HIV/AIDS and STI’s in Africa (ICASA).

I am happy that one of our own, Professor Sheila Tlou is part of this Society which is responsible for helping with the control of TB and Malaria as well as other communicable diseases. The society is also involved in research and bringing the world together to exchange ideas.

It is with great joy to inform you that we have entered into an agreement with them to host the International Conference of AIDS & STDs in December 2021.

Botswana President Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi (Photo courtesy of The Patriot)

This conference is expected to bring over 4000 delegates from all over the world.

We made a promise that Botswana shall be a host of international conferences and events and this is the beginning.

I have asked the Minister of Health and Wellness, Honourable Dr Edwin Dikoloti to prepare Batswana [people of Botswana] for this event. Out hotel and lodging facilities must be up to the international standard. Our transport system must be well organised and all these must be provided by Batswana.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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