Press statement

UNAIDS mourns the passing of Hage Geingob, President of Namibia

GENEVA, 5 February 2024—It is with profound sadness that UNAIDS learns of the passing of Dr Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia. President Geingob was a distinguished leader, a tireless advocate for social justice, and a steadfast supporter of efforts to end AIDS.

The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Winnie Byanyima, expressed her deep condolences, stating, "I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of President Geingob. He was a true people’s leader, a leader I admired and whose guidance I benefitted from. My heart goes out to his family, especially his wife Monica Geingos, the First Lady of Namibia. Africa has lost a giant son. May he rest in peace.”

President Geingob was not only a statesman who was instrumental in the anti-apartheid movement, he was also a compassionate leader who was dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Namibia and around the world. Most recently he proposed doubling the value of the cash transfers the Government of Namibia gives monthly to poor and vulnerable Namibians. He was a pan-Africanist leader who was committed to peace, democracy and a united Africa.

President Geingob's dedication to addressing the challenges posed by HIV and to fight inequality were evident throughout his tenure. Under his leadership, Namibia made significant strides in the fight against the HIV epidemic, creating a supportive legal and policy environment.

He positioned the Government of Namibia among the global AIDS leaders, funding more than 70% of the country’s HIV care and treatment from domestic resources. He helped lead global efforts to accelerate actions on Sustainable Development Goal 10 – Reducing Inequalities. Locally, he engaged communities and implemented effective strategies to prevent new infections and provide care and support to people affected by the virus.

UNAIDS acknowledges President Geingob's pivotal role in advancing the global AIDS response, both through his leadership within Namibia and his contributions to international collaborations. His efforts have left an indelible mark on the fight against AIDS, and his vision of ending AIDS in Namibia and across the world will continue to inspire the work of UNAIDS and its partners.

The entire UNAIDS family extends its deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and the people of Namibia during this difficult time. We honour President Geingob's memory and remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that the progress achieved in the AIDS response continues to benefit people most in need.


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


Sophie Barton-Knott
tel. +41 79 514 6896

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