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On the 4th April, 2014, Prof. Robert Soudre, immediate past President of the 4th SAA governing Board officially handed over the leadership of the organization to the new SAA President Dr. Ahmed Ihab. This handover ceremony was organized at Golden Tulip Hotel – Accra. It was a colorful and a well-attended event. In attendance were representatives of various Organization that usually support SAA such as World Health Organization, UNAIDS, USAID, NAP + Ghana, South African High Commission, Ghana AIDS Commission, Civil Society, the media to name but a few.
The event was conducted and hosted by the SAA Permanent Secretariat in Accra – Ghana, under the leadership of its Coordinator Mr. Luc Armand Bodea.
In his speech, Prof. Robert Soudre, commended the outgoing fellow board members for their dedication and selflessness that permitted him to steer the affairs of SAA for the term of four years with good governance, integrity and excellence. Prof. Robert Soudre said and I quote:
“Over the past years in office, we have demonstrated the need for a more proactive approach to prevent, control and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa, this has been achieved through various initiatives mainly ICASA conferences. We tried as much as possible to give more visibility and transparency to SAA as an institution. This humble achievement could not have been possible without the support and commitment of our various stakeholders, civil society organizations, UNAIDS, WHO, Ghana AIDS Commission, Donors and others,”
In this direction, he expressed utmost gratitude particularly to Ghana AIDS Commission for its support to SAA Headquarters since the establishment of the Permanent Secretariat in Ghana. “I also thank WHO, UNAIDS, USAID and all other UN agencies as well as all Donors working for the noble cause of preventing HIV/AIDS,TB and Malaria in Africa.
He therefore urged the incoming SAA President, Dr. Ihab Ahmed and his team to build on the past achievements that he believes now more than ever needs the absolute attention of this young generation of leaders to reach the MDG and beyond while targeting the three zeros.
The newly-elected SAA President, Dr. Ihab Ahmed, in delivering his official address commended Professor Robert Soudre and the pass board members for their commitment and for organizing the transparent and democratic elections which brought him into office. He emphasised that the new generation of leaders, mainly the new Board is ready to take up the challenges to confront the spread of HIV, TB and malaria in our continent.
He said the voice of SAA must be heard on the various issues related to HIV, TB and Malaria on our continent.
He later called all Society for AIDS in Africa well wishers to help the new Governing Board implements the five years SAA strategic plan in the area of strengthening advocacy and research in Africa.