Botswana’s former president, Festus Mogae, who is also Chairman of the Champions for An HIV-Free Generation, will lead a panel discussion on safe male circumcision at the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on December 5th, 2011.
Mr. Mogae will speak about the role of traditional, religious and political leadership in promoting safe male circumcision, which has been shown to reduce a man’s risk of HIV infection by 60 percent.
The panel discussion, which is titled “A Gateway For An HIV-Free Generation: Collaborative African Leadership For Safe Male Circumcision” will be held from 2 ÔÇô 3:30 p.m. at Lalibela Room at Millennium Hall close to Bole International Airport.
In addition to looking at the role of leaders, the panel discussion will provide an overview of safe male circumcision in 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, which have high HIV infection rates and low circumcision rates. The countries include Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The discussion will also look at the role of women in safe male circumcision, which will be addressed by Dr. Speciosa Wandira, former vice president of Uganda.
As part of ICASA events, Mr. Mogae will also launch a song commissioned by the Champions For and HIV-Free Generation to promote safe male circumcision in the targeted countries. The song is a collaboration of Zimbabwean guitarist, vocalist, performer and composer Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, Botswana-based and internationally recognized Vee Wa Mampela and Winky D, Zimbabwean ReggaeÔÇôDancehall artist. The artists will perform the song live at Sheraton Addis during a reception on December 5th from 7-9 p.m.