Berthilde Gahongayire, Director, Regional Support Team for West and Central Africa

Mrs Berthilde Gahongayire has more than 25 years of experience in public Health, including disease prevention, management and full realization of human rights and gender equality as critical elements for preventing the spread of HIV, mitigating the epidemic socio-economic impacts. She has in-depth knowledge of linkages between AIDS response, and sustainable development. Her experience includes among others leading HIV program in multicultural environment including in Emergencies.

In the last 16 years, Mrs Gahongayire has worked for UNAIDS in different capacities. She has served as UNAIDS Country Director in Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti, and Senior Advisor to the African Union and substantively contributed to the organization of AU Summits. She has for several years worked as Regional Adviser in West and Central Africa Regional Office based in Senegal.

While UNAIDS Country Director in Ethiopia, Mrs Gahongayire was also appointed Acting Director for the Liaison Office to the African Union and ECA in 2021. In this capacity and in preparation for a new Political Declaration, in collaboration with the African Union Social Affairs Commission, she contributed to organizing country consultations that culminated in Member States agreeing upon the Common Africa Position on HIV as the African Union coordinated input to the Political Declaration.

Prior to joining UNAIDS, Mrs Gahongayire has worked for UNDP Rwanda as HIV and Gender Program Specialist until she joined UNAIDS in 2006. She also held several positions as a Public Service Servant, in various ministries in her country.

Mrs Gahongayire has an advanced University Degree in Public Economics and is a certified Expert in Development as well as in leadership policy. She is also holding an MBA in International Management.

Mrs Gahongayire is a national of Rwanda. She contributed to women empowerment and Rights in a post genocide Rwanda which led Rwanda to be the first country in the world with more women in parliament and other decision-making positions.