About SAA

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ICASA 2019 INFORMATION

About SAA


Historical Background

Towards the tail-end of the 20th century, HIV and AIDS epidemic established itself as the most devastating epidemic defying the most aggressive scientific battles to combat it. With over 30 million people infected and an estimated 10 million people dead, the epidemic metamorphosed from public health problem into an overall development challenge undermining African renaissance.

The Society for AIDS in Africa was founded in 1989 at the fourth International Symposium on AIDS and Associated Cancers in Africa (now ICASA) held in Marseille France by a group of African scientist, activists and advocates in response to this epidemic. The establishment of the Society was the effect of the agitations of some African scientists for the conference to be organized on the African soil. These agitations had begun the previous year (1988) at the third meeting in Arusha, Tanzania. The conference had until then been organized outside the African continent. The cause of these scientists was supported by the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Peter Piot. The Society is non-governmental and not-for profit.

At the 1990 conference held in DR Congo, an executive committee was established to oversee the establishment of the society and to coordinate subsequent ICASA meetings. The society was officially registered in Nairobi, Kenya.

Founding members of the SAA are: Prof. Mboup from Senegal, Prof. Kaptue from Cameroon, Dr.Sam Okware from Uganda, Prof. Soyinka from Nigeria, Prof. Kadio and Prof. Gershey-Damet from Cote d Ivore, Dr. Patrick Kenya and  Dr. Owili from Kenya, Dr. M Pelle from Congo Brazzaville, Dr. Kalenganyi and Dr Kapita from DR Congo, Prof. Mhalu from Tanzania, Prof. Luo from Zambia, Prof. Latif from Zimbabwe, Dr. Abdulrahman Sow from Mauritania,  Dr. Kanki P from USA, Prof. Abdellah Benslimane from Morocco, Dr. Fatia Mohamoud from Sudan and Prof. Ahmed Zribi from Tunisia.

The first election of regional delegates was held in October 1990 in Kinshasa, DR Congo. The selection was done according to the WHO regional classification of sub-Saharan Africa namely, Region 1, Region 2, Region 3 and Emco.

  • The first elected representatives of Region 1 were: Prof Soulemane Mboup from Senegal, Prof Femi Soyinka from Nigeria, Prof A. Kadio and Dr. Gershy-Damet from Cote d Ivoire.
  • The elected representatives of Region 2 were:  Prof L. Kaptue from Cameroon, Dr. Dundu Malaki Owili from Kenya, Dr. Pierre M pelle from Congo Brazzaville and Dr. Karengenyi of the former Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • In Region Three, the representatives were: Prof. Fred S. Mhalu from Tanzania, Prof Nkandu Luo from Zambia and Prof. L. Latif from Zimbwabwe.
  • In Region 3 (EMCO), the elected representatives were: Prof. Abdellah Benslimane of Morocco who later became the first president of SAA, Dr. Fatia Mohamoud from Sudan and Prof Ahmed Zribi from Tunisia.

Also involved in the formative process of the society were Prof. K. Kallings from Sweden, Prof. Peter Piot and Dr. Abdulrahman Sow from Geneva, Dr. Patrick Kenya and Dr. N. Angata from Kenya who later became the first Secretary General of SAA.

During the SAA inaugural meeting in Kinshasa, Nairobi was selected as the SAA secretariat headquarters and the society was officially registered there.

At the Morocco meeting in 1993, a unanimous decision of biennially organized ICASA was adopted by the SAA council. ICASAs were held biannually before the Morocco meeting. The first biennial ICASA was thus held in Kampala in 1994 and thereafter in Cote d’Ivoire in 1997, Zambia in1999, Burkina Faso in 2001, Kenya in 2003, Nigeria in 2005 and Senegal in 2008, Ethiopia in 2011, South Africa in 2013, Zimbabwe in 2015 and Cote d’Ivoire in 2017.

Vision

SAA envisions an African continent free of AIDS, TB, Malaria and emerging infections, where the communities are empowered, with no stigma and discrimination against PLHIV, key populations and their families and where there is social justice, and equity to accessing treatment, care and support.

Mission

An African-led and owned organization that collaborates with other national, sub-regional, regional, continental and international organizations and partners, to promote and institute policies and promote research to support governments’ national responses and approaches to fight HIV and HIV co-morbidities as well as emerging viral infections across the continent.

Our Goal

To contribute towards the UNAIDS goal and the AU catalytic framework of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 and achieving the 90-90-90 targets by 2020 in Africa, contribute to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and also serve as the platform to strengthen the Health Systems in Africa towards an Universal Coverage.

GOVERNING COUNCIL MEMBERS: 2018 -2021

Prof John Idoko
Hon. Dr. David Pagwesese Parirenyatwa
Prof. Tandakha Ndiaye Dieye
Mrs. Sahra Guleid
Dr. Namwinga Chintu
Prof. Samuel E. Kalluvya
Mr. Niyi Ojuolape
Prof. James Hakim