Uganda has won the rights to host the next edition of Africa’s biggest AIDS conference in
2021, overcoming stiff competition from Kenya in the final assessment.
The announcement was made today (December 7), at the end of the 20th International
Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) 2019, which
has been on-going in the Rwanda capital Kigali since December 2.
The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, shared the news on her Twitter page, writing,
“Uganda has been selected to host the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa
(ICASA). The conference will take place in 2021. Congratulations Team #Uganda.”
Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC), which led the coalition of organizations that supported
the government to lobby for the conference, also tweeted about the development on its
official account, saying, “BREAKING NEWS: Uganda to host ‘The International Conference
on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa in 2021 (#ICASA2021). We did it!”
The UAC account also carried images of the Ugandan delegation led by the Minister for the
Presidency, Hon. Esther Mbayo, as she and other officials signed the agreement to confirm
that Uganda is ready to host the event.
The Ugandan delegation included the UAC Executive Director, Dr Nelson Musoba, and the
UNAIDS Uganda Country Director, Dr Karusa Kiragu.
ICASA brings together leaders and experts in the struggle against HIV/AIDS from across the
continent. In Rwanda, the event was opened by President Paul Kagame, alongside First Lady
Jeanette Kagame, and his counterpart from Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusi.
Other top dignitaries present at the conference included the new Executive Director of
UNAIDs, Winnie Byanyima; ICASA president, Prof. John Idoko; and the UNFPA Regional
Director for West and Central Africa, Mabingue Ngom.
UGANET was represented in Kigali by our Executive Director, Dora Kiconco Musinguzi,
who moderated an HIV Human Rights Workshop that sought “to evaluate the steep HIV
criminalization challenge in Africa, and strategize how to leverage increased focus on human
rights global agenda.”
In total, ICASA 2019 drew 8,200 delegates from 152 countries, according to figures shared
by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) office in Rwanda.
A strong pool of five countries submitted bids to host ICASA 2021. However, Nigeria,
Tunisia and Zambia were eliminated in the preliminary round in September, leaving Uganda
and Kenya to tussle it out during the final round.
Ahead of the final round of selection, an ICASA team visited Uganda and Kenya between
September 29 and October 2, during which time Uganda is said to have impressed the
selection committee, culminating in the announcement of its bid as the winner today.