Uganda has beaten neighbours Kenya to hosting the 21st edition of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) slated to take place from December 6th to 11th 2021.
Uganda alongside four other African countries (Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Tunisia) submitted bids to host the conference and were shortlisted.
Following this shortlisting, registered members of the Society for AIDS in Africa voted for countries of their choice from which Uganda and Kenya emerged the final contenders to host ICASA 2021.
At the just concluded 20th edition of ICASA conference in Kigali, Rwanda, Uganda was announced winner to host the 21st edition of the conference.
Addressing reporters at the Office of the President in Kampala on Wednesday, the Minister for Presidency Hon Esther Mbayo said hosting ICASA is an opportunity to renew the global commitment by drawing the world’s attention to the fact that current achievements are under threat unless new resources are mobilized to drive innovations being proposed by the science.
“It is also an opportunity for the international community and all Africans to strengthen partnerships among Governments, Civil Society and development partners to join efforts in committing to achieving an AIDS free Africa.”
“It will also bring extra income into the country through money spent by delegates,” said Mbayo.
The 6-day conference will consist of plenary sessions featuring the world’s most distinguished researchers and scientists, poster exhibitions, satellite sessions fully sponsored and organized by organizations that host the sessions among others.
Mbayo also said the conference provides an opportunity for the country to highlight nature of Africa’s HIV epidemic response.
“The convening of ICASA in Uganda presents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it.”
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for researchers from around the world to share the latest scientific advances in the field, learn from one another’s expertise and develop strategies for ending AIDS as a public health threat,” she added.
ICASA is expected to convene around 10,000 delegates from nearly 150 countries.
Uganda was in the eighties among the worst hit by HIV epidemic and Government under President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni played a globally acclaimed role of leading the fight against the scourge, reducing the HIV prevalence from 18% to 6% by 2005.”