Feature story

Tokyo Conference on Africa to spotlight AIDS

28 May 2008

20080528_TICAD_logo_200.JPG
Leaders from Africa, Asia,
Europe and other parts of the
world are in Yokohama for the
4th Tokyo International
Conference on African
Development (TICAD).

Leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe and other parts of the world are in Yokohama for the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). The theme of this year’s meeting is “Towards a vibrant Africa” and will focus on mobilizing knowledge and resources to overcome the obstacles facing Africa as it moves its economy and social development agenda forward.

AIDS will be addressed within a session on human security and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot will participate in this joint thematic segment to emphasize the response to AIDS as a key element in efforts to achieve the Goals in Africa, from eradicating extreme poverty to empowering women.

With AIDS remaining as the leading cause of death for African adults, HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services need to be scaled up in the next years if the Goals’ targets are to be met by 2015.

This year’s three-day conference is also being used to announce the laureates of the first Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, an award established by the Japanese Government to recognize achievements in the field of health services and medical research in Africa. In health services, the award has been given to Miriam K. Were, a Kenyan doctor and chairperson of Kenya's National AIDS Control Council, for her leadership in supporting the country’s response to AIDS, and in medical research, Dr Brian Greenwood of the United Kingdom, for his innovative work on Malaria.

Before TICAD, Dr Piot participated in a symposium in Tokyo earlier in the week on communicable diseases as threats to human security. He joined several eminent speakers including the Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Global Fund Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine, and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa Elizabeth Mataka. The event was organized by Friends of the Global Fund – Japan.