“TeachAIDS has worked with an incredible team of world-class experts, governments around the world, and UNICEF to create a clear way to understand what you need to know about HIV and AIDS. Their tutorials are being used globally and are quickly becoming the standard in HIV and AIDS education. Explore and use this innovative tool. Challenge the myths and misconceptions that still exist in our society.” – Festus Mogae, July, 2010
Known as the model President, who worked tirelessly to tackle poverty, unemployment and the challenging spread of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency Former President Festus Mogae has joined the TeachAIDS advisory board as special advisor to continue his efforts and work towards an HIV-free generation.
Earlier this year, President Mogae invited TeachAIDS founder and CEO, Dr. Piya Sorcar, to visit his compound in Phakalane Golf Estates in Botswana, where he endorsed the TeachAIDS materials to empower the youth of the world to take responsibility of their own lives and educate themselves about issues of HIV and AIDS. The video endorsements will appear in the TeachAIDS animated tutorials launched on December 1, 2010 in Botswana, on International AIDS Day. Along with President Mogae, other celebrated cultural icons such as Scar, Jazzelle, Zeus, and Tref will be featured in the animated works.
President Mogae was first elected President in April 1998 as the leader of the Botswana Democratic Party and won a second term in 2004. Under his stewardship of the economy and careful management of the country’s mineral resources, Botswana experienced steady economic growth that has characterized its post-independence history.
President Mogae has won international praise for his indelible efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Botswana, one of the countries hit hardest by the disease. He is credited as one of the first heads of state in the world to get publicly tested for HIV. He was one of the first African leaders to chair his country’s National AIDS Council, which he continues to chair today. Under President Mogae’s administration, Botswana became the first country in Africa to provide free anti-retroviral therapy to citizens most in need. In 2004, he introduced routine “opt-out” HIV testing, which has since dramatically increased the number of people who know their HIV status.
In August 2008, during the 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, President Mogae launched the Champions for an HIV-Free Generation. Serving as Chairman of this organization, he has brought together a team of former African Presidents and other influential personalities with an aim to mobilize high-level leadership in renewed and revitalized responses to HIV and AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa. The Champions have already completed missions to four African nations, including Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, where they advocated increased HIV prevention efforts from those countries’ top leaders.
President Mogae has received a number of international awards, including the 2008 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership and the Grand Cross of the Legion d’honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In September 2008, he was appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as one of his four Special Envoys on Climate Change. He also serves as chairman of the Advisory Board of Coalition of Dialogue on Africa (CoDA).
Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said of President Mogae: “President Mogae’s outstanding leadership has ensured Botswana’s continued stability and prosperity in the face of an HIV/AIDS pandemic which threatened the future of his country and people.”
We are deeply honored to bring His Excellency Former President Festus Mogae on as a special advisor for TeachAIDS. His leadership, dedication, and passion to improve human life and social welfare is a beacon of hope for millions globally.