Conversations between the Afro-Diaspora & Africans Press Breakfastadmin
Luc Bodea, Director of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) and the Coordinator of the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA), began his presentation by highlighting the focus of his position as Director of ICASA, to mitigate AIDS on the continent by 2030. He established that while this is his goal and priority, attention is also given to mitigating diseases such as Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Hepatitis and recently other emerging infectious diseases. Since 1990, there has been a focus on the continent to help Africans serve other Africans stricken with long-term illnesses.
Bodea’s focus also includes topics such as climate change and human rights that have a direct impact on the diseases he and his team fight against. “We are trying to mitigate, trying to get to zero through leadership and engagement of the community, without the community there is no movement.”
During the press breakfast, there was a panel moderated by John Yearwood, former World Editor of the Miami Herald and Chair of the International Press Institute. This panel included: Djibril Diallo, CEO of the African Renaissance Diaspora Network (ARDN), Constance Newman, Chair of the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN) and former United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Drew Berry, Executive Director of the National Association for Black Journalists (NABJ), and Luc Bodea, Director of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) and the Coordinator of the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA). All held short presentations on current projects, shedding light on success stories within various African countries. The intent of these efforts was aimed at changing the negative narrative most often portrayed about the continent in the media, at large.
Towards the end of his speech, Luc Bodea encouraged people within the African continent and African diaspora to fill the gap and support this noteworthy cause. One of his remarks after hearing Drew Berry’s presentation, on the creation of a media channel owned by NABJ in the United States was, “Black journalists here don’t have their own newspaper, I’m asking myself, what am I doing here as a black?”
He used this opportunity to extend an invitation to Black journalists in the United States, to mobilize their sources and travel to the new ICASA facility in Ghana that will be completed in 2021, to use their office spaces, of no charge, in efforts to enhance their goals.
His last comments were “Africans and people from African descent have a say. Ghana, is a lovely country, tell our people to come.”
The upcoming 20th ICASA conference will be held in Kigali, Rwanda, December 2-7, 2019. So far, there have been 517 sessions scheduled, more than 600 speakers and thousands of attendees/participants have RSVP’d.
International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) and the Coordinator of the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA),
About ARDN: ARDN’s methodology revolves around supporting and furthering the sustainable development processes of the United Nations as they relate to Africa and the African Diaspora, with emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goals. ARDN mobilizes the passion of government, educators, artists, intellectuals, the private sector, civil society, and youth, using the power of sport and culture as vectors for achieving these important benchmarks that have been discussed and agreed upon by governments throughout the world.
News Provided by African Renaissance Diaspora Network
New York, NY, 9:30 A.M, September 26, 2019
By: Topaz Smith
Location: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Arlene Katzive | ARDN, External Relations
Topaz Smith, Communications Advisor