On November 6th, 2010, business executives gathered in Kigali at a Private Sector Summit, in common purpose and raised $2million.
The government of Rwanda contributed $1 million bringing the total to $3million. This remarkable contribution will go towards a funding pool that the Global Fund employs to combat HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – it is indeed a Gift from Africa.
During the summit, the First Lady Mrs. Jeannette Kagame - who is a board member of Friends of the Global Fund Africa - said that “...Private sector presence was driven by their understanding of the need to confront global health challenges in order to save lives...” Members of the private sector are mindful that these three diseases affect their employees, clients, suppliers and ultimately their bottom line; saving these lives is certainly in their best interest.
The Government of Rwanda hosted the extraordinary summit and Friends of the Global Fund Africa, an advocacy group that mobilizes resources to support the Global Fund’s efforts, organized it.
Global Fund Executive Director, Professor Kazatchkine, highlighted that the Global Fund is a private public partnership and posed an important question “…If a bottle of coca-cola can get anywhere in the world, why shouldn’t the ARV or anti-malarial drug do the same?...”
Friends of the Global Fund Africa is chaired by Mr. Aigboje Imokhuede who reached out to the guests by simply calling them to duty and reminding them to do what they know should be done. He made his statement just before the generous contributions were made by members of the private sector, listed on www.friends-africa.org. This commitment has not only made a difference for Africa’s health, but it has shown us that in order to overcome HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, we cannot continue doing business as usual.
President Paul Kagame, who was the Guest of Honour at the summit, said it best: “...health sector financing needs to expand beyond traditional donors…we can seize the opportunity to identify sustainable solutions, develop additional partnerships and broaden sources of support…”
Besides the impressive financial contributions, the summit sent a loud and clear message that the prerequisites for making a real difference and achieving prosperity are simple, we need to take initiative and be responsible for our continent’s destiny.