U.S. Ambassador to the African Union Michael Battle, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Dr. Mustapha Kaloko, and
PEPFAR Ethiopia Coordinator Dr. Carmela Green-Abate unveiled a Partnership Quilt to cement their joint commitment to an AIDS-free generation in Africa.
Quilts have a long history in the West and are used as tools of artistic expression and individualism; quilts are a powerful way to connect people with their roots, traditions, and causes they strongly believe in. With this tradition in mind, the Partnership Quilt allowed stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS and gender inequality to showcase their partnership and express their vision, insight, and commitment to this social cause in a creative way. Thirteen organizations from civil society, government offices, religious institutions, media, academic institutions, women’s associations and health care providers are represented in the quilt.
During a press conference held on January 21, before the unveiling ceremony, the group discussed joint advocacy efforts to work together for an AIDS-free generation in Africa, work that underscores the strong partnership among the various stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS, including the United States and the African Union.
Ambassador Battle highlighted the momentum he has seen building within the AU Commission for Social Affairs pertaining to the work the African Union is doing on HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention. Both the U.S. and the AU mobilize a global effort to achieve an AIDS-free generation – which he defined as an ambitious, but reachable, goal. He cited that the AU was a critical partner in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, and as such, was the right location to launch the Partnership Quilt. “The AU provides the perfect backdrop to continue continental dialogue and spark creative ideas in fighting HIV and AIDS,” stated the Ambassador.
AU Commissioner Kaloko emphasized that the African Union is committed to collaborate and coordinate with all stakeholders and partners to insure an AIDS-free generation.
The quilt will be displayed at the AU for the duration of the 20th AU Summit.