Dec. 8, 2017

First African WHO director general at ICASA 2017 .


Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and a cross session of SAA Board Members

The Society for AIDS in Africa, the organizers of the International Conference on AIDS & Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa, warmly welcome the appointment of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). This Appointment was made known during by an announcement during an appointment ceremony that took place after WHO Member States cast their final votes at a closed session during the 70th World Health Assembly on 23rd May, 2017. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia making him the first African to be appointed Director General in the history of WHO.


Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the SAA Strategic Plan launch during ICASA 2011

Prior to his election as WHO’s next Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012–2016 and as Minister of Health, Ethiopia from 2005–2012. He has also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board; and as co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

As Minister of Health, Ethiopia, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus led a comprehensive reform effort of the country’s health system, including the expansion of the country’s health infrastructure, creating 3500 health centres and 16 000 health posts; expanded the health workforce by 38 000 health extension workers; and initiated financing mechanisms to expand health insurance coverage.

Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and SAA’s Board Member with the SAA Merit Awardees

Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus presenting Merit Award to Prof Femi Soyinka




It is worth noting in the annals of history, that during his tenure as Minister of Health for Ethiopia, he played an unprecedented role towards the success of ICASA 2011 which was held in Addis Ababa under his leadership. To date, ICASA 2011 still holds the record as the most patronized ICASA having brought together a total of 15000 delegates including the former President of the United States of America, President George W. Bush as a special guest speaker of the opening ceremony.

Your wealth of 30 years of experience in health, leadership, politics and diplomacy, guarantees us of your ability to steer WHO to greater heights. It also assures us of a familiar face towards the global health issues affecting our continent.

The Executive Board of the Society for AIDS in Africa take this opportunity to congratulate you in your new and well deserved capacity as Director-General of the World Health Organization.  We endeavor to further establish the needed rapport and continued collaboration between our organizations as well as strengthen ties which will lead to the realization of our common goals and objectives.

WHO being instrumental in the creation of SAA and ICASA, the Society for AIDS in Africa reassures you of our commitment to provide a platform to advance progress in global health and end the AIDS epidemic as part of sustainable development goal for Africa.


About The Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA)

The Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA), the custodian of ICASA was founded in 1989 at the fourth International Symposium on AIDS and Associated Cancers in Africa (now ICASA) held in Marseille, France by a group of African scientists, activists and advocates in response to this epidemic. SAA envisions and African continent free of HIV, TB and malaria and their debilitating effects on communal and societal structures, where people are socially and economically empowered to live product lives in dignity. For more information on SAA please visit