Investing in an AIDS-Free Generation: 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
This week, President Obama hosted the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leader Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit brought together U.S. government officials, African leaders, Ministers of Health, and senior health policy makers for discussions around the summit's theme, "Investing in the Next Generation." The event saw commitments from across the health, energy, education, and political sectors.
The signature global health event, Investing in Health: Investing in Africa's Future, explored U.S.-Africa health partnerships to achieve global health security, promote science and health, end preventable deaths of children and mothers, and realize our goal of an AIDS-free generation.
Ending the AIDS epidemic will accelerate Africa’s economic development, education outcomes, and efforts to improve safety and security. At the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), we know that by investing in Africa’s health, we are investing in its future. And we will do whatever it takes until no child has AIDS.
Reinforcing the stance that creating an AIDS-free generation is shared, global responsibility, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) announced an ambitious $200 million program to double the number of children living with HIV who will receive antiretroviral therapy (ART). The Accelerating Children’s HIV/AIDS Treatment (ACT) will put an additional 300,000 children living with HIV on treatment over the next two years. This is cause for celebration — especially on the heels of the AIDS 2014 announcement of the USAID-PEPFAR investment of more than $500 million to implement PEPFAR’s Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation and accelerate progress toward an AIDS-free generation.
Through exciting new public-private partnerships, smart investments, and innovative medical and scientific advancements, we will unlock opportunities that will allow the next generation to thrive — both in Africa and the United States!
Some Highlights from 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
- Michael Gerson, op-ed columnist for the Washington Post and recent moderator of EGPAF’s June 24 policy roundtable discussion on the future of pediatric AIDS treatment, kicked the week off with a optimistic and pragmatic look at shifting global perceptions of Africa in his article “Bet on Africa Rising.”
- Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. global AIDS coordinator, sat down with NPR for a candid talk about the future of PEPFAR, and the challenges facing the global HIV/AIDS community, from human rights to complacency.
- President Obama announced $33 billion in commitments for Africa, including large investments from private-sector companies Coca-Cola, General Electric, Marriot, and IBM. Commitments from the U.S. government included $12 billion for the Power Africa initiative, which aims to bring electricity to 60 million new homes and businesses throughout the continent.
- Former President George W. Bush announced the expansion of the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative, focused on combating cervical and breast cancer, to two additional countries, Ethiopia and Namibia, during a symposium hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Former Lady Laura Bush. During his remarks, Bush spoke about the destructive problems of stigma, ignorance, and discrimination and the barriers they create to public health, “It is impossible to direct help where it is needed most when any group is targeted for legal discrimination and stigma. Compassion and tolerance are important medicines.”
- The White House released a fact sheet, U.S.–African Cooperation on Global Health, in anticipation of the summit championing the progress that has been made in global health through closer collaboration and strong partnerships. The fact sheet touted successes in the fight against HIV/AIDS specifically, highlighting the role PEPFAR has played in saving millions of lives, and providing millions more, including mothers and children, with HIV care a treatment.