Feature story

UNAIDS renews partnership with the African Union for a stronger and more resilient AIDS response in Africa

17 March 2021

UNAIDS and the African Union have signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) to reinforce their partnership and to recommit member states to end AIDS through the Catalytic Framework to End AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030.

The MoU commits partners to work towards addressing the socioeconomic and political impact of HIV in Africa and accelerate the goal of reaching universal health coverage to take AIDS out of isolation. It will pave the way for more resilient, agile and inclusive health systems in Africa.

“The renewed MoU between the African Union and UNAIDS opens new windows of cooperation and new opportunities for ending AIDS in Africa. We need to deliver on this promise—it is doable,” said Amira Elfadil Mohammed Elfadil, Commissioner for the Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, at the signing ceremony.

The Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, formerly known as the Department of Social Affairs, will coordinate African Union Commission departments and organs to ensure that HIV remains a continental priority and is integrated into the broader development, human rights, humanitarian and peace and security agenda of the African Union. 

“I am delighted to sign the renewed MoU with the African Union,” said UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima. “The African Union is one of UNAIDS’ most important partners. I look forward to reinforcing our relationship to put communities at the centre of the response to HIV, address other health challenges such as COVID-19 and reduce inequalities that increase people’s vulnerability.”

This year is a pivotal year as United Nations Member States are expected to recommit to the HIV response with the adoption of a new political declaration in June. The partnership agreement with the African Union is being signed as the continent grapples with overburdened and insufficiently financed health systems in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.