The Tanzanian police detained nine AIDS activists at the opening of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Dar Es Salaam on May 5th. The AIDS activists were in Tanzania attending the African Civil Society Advocacy Forum with more than 40 other NGO representatives. The meeting aimed at developing global and regional advocacy strategies on resource mobilization for universal access and the Global Fund replenishment. A memorandum entitled “Health is Wealth” was drafted by the participants as part of their advocacy strategy calling to:
- African governments to reaffirm their commitment to the Abuja 15% target for national health budgets;
- National governments and donors to acknowledge that lack of adequate access to HIV treatment presents a threat to socio-economic development;
- Global leaders, particularly the G8 and G20, to pledge a minimum of US$20 billion towards the replenishment of the Global Fund; and
- All leaders to ensure that there is transparency and adequate civil society inclusion in decisions on resource allocation and expenditure.
The memorandum was originally planned to be handed over to the WEF participants at a peaceful march but their permit to protest was revoked less than 24 hours prior to the march due to a local union strike which led to the government cancelling all demonstrations that week. Shortly after handing over the memorandum to Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Christoph Benn outside the conference center, the AIDS activists were detained and forced to leave Tanzania immediately.
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Read Press release Arasa