Accra 2 June 2015 – The 4th World Summit of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent has opened in Accra with Ghana’s Vice President, HE Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and Ex-president Jerry John Rawlings, Vice President of Honduras, Lorena Herrera, the Mayor of Accra and President of Global Alliance for Africa (GAMAD), Dr. Okoe Vanderpuije in attendance. Others include Dr. Dijbiri Dailo, Senior Advisor, UNAIDS and Mr Oscar Gamboa Zuniga, Executive Director of GAMAD. Several Mayors from all over the world as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps and traditional leaders also graced the occasion. The special guest was HE Lorena Herrera.
In a ceremonial cultural performance, the Mayor of Cali, Columbia, handed over the flame of fire to the Mayor of Accra, Ghana, signifying the transfer of responsibility to host the Summit.
Dr. Okoe Vanderpuije welcomed the guests and participants to the conference and elaborated the objectives of the conference. One of the key issues on the agenda of the conference is the “Fast-Track Cities” initiative which aims at ensuring that by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV knows their HIV status,
90% of people who know their HIV-positive status are receiving treatment, and 90% of people are being treated with suppressed viral loads. The summit will also discuss issues of racism, empowerment of girls and women and job creation for young people of Africa.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé said the accessibility of the antiretroviral drugs to all HIV/AIDS patients will be achieved by 2030 and
challenged the City Mayors to invest more resources to end HIV/AIDS. He therefore called for the need for more Mayors to sign on to the Paris Declaration to end HIV/AIDS by 2030.
HE Kwesi Amissah-Arthur commended the mayors on their choice to deliberate on issues facing humanity including HIV/AIDS and gender equality. He challenged the delegates to come out with best solutions to resolve the issues at stake.
The United Nations in Ghana mounted an exhibition of its work in the country as a side event at the 3-day summit. The exhibition focused on HIV/AIDS, Women and Development, Inequality, Youth Employment and Cities in Accra/Urban Poverty.