Young people in East and Southern Africa account for 32% of the total population; their voices are a radical and powerful vehicle for change1. With this energy, 100 youth leaders from across fourteen countries in the region came together from 25-28 April 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The UNITED! Leadership Summit became a safe space for them to showcase the progress of the HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights movement and uplift the voices of young people who are meaningfully engaged in the call to action to end HIV and advocate for SRHR.
Over 100 youth leaders from across fourteen countries in Eastern and Southern Africa linked up in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 25-28 April 2023, for a three-and-a-half day UNITED! Leadership Summit to level up the HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights movement and uplift the voices of young people who are meaningfully engaged in the call to action for HIV and SRHR.
Bold and Coordinated Response to HIV and SRHThe summit called for bold and coordinated action to scale up prevention measures for young people, reduce new infections among key population communities, expand access to antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV, network strengthening, youth leadership and capacity building. This is in response to the overarching crisis that the HIV and SRH rights of adolescents and young people are not being met.
“It's up to my generation to ensure that the issues we are facing right now do not affect the upcoming generation,” said Mateus Kambuze of the United Youth Charity Association in Namibia. “The issues we’ve been tackling are not just issues that come and leave in one day. These are issues that various generations have faced. And if you see that it keeps on going, then you must realise that a system is being used that is not working," he added.