Monday, 26 December 2011 10:25

Closing Remarks by Dr. Yigeremu Abebe, ICASA 2011 President

H.E. Prof. Robert Soudre, SAA President

H.E. Dr Tedros Adhanom 'Health Minister of Ethiopia

H.E. Bience Gawanas, Commissioner for Social Affairs

H.E. Amb. Jean Christopher Belliard, Ambassador of France to Ethiopia

Distinguished delegates and organizers

Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the organizing committee, the ICASA Secretariat and myself, I would like to thank you all for contributions in many ways to effective delivery of ICASA2011. Participants coming from nearly 103 countries of the world, predominately from Africa have been actively engaged in sharing knowledge and best practices on HIV and AIDS, STls and related conditions such as TB and Malaria in the last 5 days, The preparation and hosting of the 16th ICASA has registered an important milestone in fighting HIV epidemic and other diseases of poverty in Africa and similar countries. By any parameter this conference has met international standards and Ethiopia has been transformed to a level of preparing and hosting large scale international conferences through ICASA 2011. This is because of the diligent work of institutions, partners, and individuals as well as important leadership given by Dr. Tedros Adhanom.

That said I would like to thank important actors in the preparation and hosting of ICASA2011.

I would like to thank the Society for AIDS in Africa, its president Prof. Robert Soudre and its board for giving Ethiopia the opportunity of organizing ICASA2011 and continuously supporting the local host in the preparation and hosting of ICASA. I would like to thank the co-organizers such as International AIDS Society and UNAIDS, and Africaso for their immense contribution to make this conference happen.

The organizing committee, members of the international steering committee, ICASA Coordinating Committee, the secretariat and all partners which have been involved in the preparation and hosting of this conference deserve recognition. Different scientific and other committees and subcommittees and the national event management committee led by MOFA and its various subcommittees deserve appreciation.

The contributions of the international private agencies that worked with us such as Courtesy Associates and KIT have been immense. I would like to thank them.

Among the partners PEPFAR and its implementing partners, USAID, UN families (UNAIDS, UNFPA,UNICEF, WHO, ILO), the world bank, the global fund, bilaterals such as Swedish SIDA, French Embassy, and international agencies such as Gates Foundation and Packard Foundation have contributed in many ways to the success of this conference. Associations of PLHIV, CSOs and faith based organizations have also contributed immensely to this conference. The continued engaged support of African union is exceedingly commendable.

One of the unique phenomenon in ICASA2011 that must be emulated by ICASAs in the future is the contribution of the private sector to this conference. In particular the contribution of HE Dr Sheik Mohammed Alamudi is spectacular and unforgettable in the HIV response in Africa in general and in the preparation of ICASA 2011 in particular. The venue prepared by this philanthropist ensuring international standards has made Ethiopia competitive and proud in its contributions to the fight against HIV and AIDS in Africa and globally. It is a reflection of corporate social responsibility par excellence. His Excellency Dr Sheik Alamudi has set unprecedented standard to business leaders in Africa and globally in responding to AIDS epidemic.

All the government institutions in particular FHAPCO, FMOH, FMOFA, FMCT, the Federal Police, the national Revenue authority, the AA municipality, the National Security, Immigration Office, the AA police and others have played pivotal role for the success of this conference.

The banks, in particular the commercial bank of Ethiopia, the Ethiopia telecom, the Ethiopian Power Authority, the Ethiopia Customs, the Ethiopian Airlines, Anbessa City Bus Corporation and the hotel managers and owners association deserve recognition.

The Sheraton Addis has done excellent work in providing the catering service single handedly, therefore, deserves appreciation. The Addis Park and its management as well as our Italian colleagues such as Franco and Giovanni, and all the IT companies who did amazing work in the construction of this beautiful venue have unrelentingly worked day and night to make ready this venue for ICASA in a matter of one month. They deserve appreciation.

I would like to thank all governmental (such as Oromia Regional State) and nongovernmental (such as the Sheraton and the Hilton) who gave us translation equipment and ECA which facilitated to bring interpreters to Ethiopia.

I would like to thank St Paul hospital in handling the health emergency and the city fire fighting brigade to ensure preparedness in the venue.

I would like to thank all delegates, dignitaries in particular President Bush, former president of Botswana, PM Meles Zenawi , the Namibian First Lady and others as well as speakers, co-chairs, moderators and rapporteurs from local and external sources, to avail themselves in ICASA 2011. International dignitaries such as Michel Sidibe, Amb Eric Goosby, Dr Steven Lewis and others deserve many thanks.

The message sent by President Clinton and First Lady of France elevate the prestige of ICASA 2011.

The Theater houses under Addis Ababa municipality and other institutions and individuals that entertained our delegates in the opening and closing sessions also deserve recognition. The same holds true to the Masters of the Ceremony: Henock and Shimelis.

I am sure there important actors I might have forgotten, I hope I will be excused for my forgetfulness. However, we will definitely include in our final report every institutions or individual who tirelessly worked to make this impressive conference a reality.

Those of you who have come from different corners of the world, I wish you safe trip back home.

Thank you indeed.

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The Official Carrier of ICASA 2011!

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Ethiopian is pleased to offer a 10% discount to all ICASA 2011 delegates.

Take advantage of this great offer by visiting your local Ethiopian ticket office. To find your nearest ticketing office, visit http://www.flyethiopian.com/. Upon your visit, please present your ICASA 2011 registration number to get the discount.

Please note this offer is not applicable for online purchases or at a non-Ethiopian Airlines ticketing office.

ICASA 2011, in partnership with Ethiopian Airlines, is pleased to offer ICASA 2011 delegates priority luggage service at Addis Ababa Bole Airport. To take advantage of this priority service, delegates must visibly identify their luggage by tying a Red Ribbon on the handle or body of the luggage.

Bon Voyage!

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