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Research Report

HIV/AIDS AND MILITARIES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

Centre for Conflict Resolution
Copyright Date: Feb. 10, 2006
Pages: 58
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep05150
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 11-12)

    The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, and the University of Namibia (UNAM), Windhoek, Namibia, convened a two-day policy advisory group seminar at the Hotel Safari in Windhoek, Namibia, on 9 and 10 February 2006. The theme of the seminar was “Namibia’s Chair of the SADC (Southern African Development Community ) ¹ Organ: HIV/AIDS and Militaries in Southern Africa”. This meeting followed a series of CCR policy meetings which have focused on:

    Supporting South Africa’s role as the chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (OPDS) held in Tshwane, South Africa, in November 2004;...

  2. (pp. 13-15)

    Between 4.5 and 6.2 million people are living with HIV in South Africa alone. The most recent Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) epidemiological report, published in November 2005, notes that between 1990 and 2000, South Africa’s national adult HIV prevalence went from less than one percent to approximately 25 percent. Although the overall prevalence rate in Namibia has slightly declined since 2004, HIV rates vary across the country (from 4.2 percent to 8.5 percent) and adult mortality among women has tripled in the last decade. ⁴ Experts have suggested that the southern...

  3. (pp. 16-19)

    The outcome of the 2001 summit was the Abuja Declaration and Plan of Action, which, among other goals, committed leaders to allocate at least 15 percent of their annual budgets to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. 18 Thus far, only Botswana has met this health expenditure target. However, African countries such as Gambia, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe have all made progress towards reaching this goal by devoting between 12 and 14.5 percent of their national budgets to the health sector. 19 The AU’s progress reports on the implementation of the 2001 commitments made in Abuja emphasised the...

  4. (pp. 20-28)

    There are a number of implications relating to the impact of the virus on militaries, and to how HIV/AIDS relates to efforts made by RECs such as SADC to ensure stability, and, ultimately, sustain the continent’s peacekeeping capacity. Country-level programmes are faced with the task of implementing a number of programmes to promote HIV/AIDS prevention, care, support and treatment. Addressing the AIDS epidemic within the armed forces has thus been a pioneering effort.

    The Windhoek policy seminar included presentations on military HIV/AIDS programmes in Namibia, Lesotho, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The presentation on Namibia captured the broad components of a holistics...

  5. (pp. 29-30)

    Ultimately, SADC’s, political commitments will fall to member states for implementation. The SADC secretariat, based in Gaborone, Botswana, is responsible for translating the organisation’s political will into action. The SADC secretariat is focusing its activities on facilitating the harmonisation of southern Africa’s HIV/AIDS policies; establishing a mechanism for monitoring and evaluation; and assisting member states in their efforts to address HIV/AIDS. At the country level, SADC supports the policy of addressing HIV/AIDS through a national framework.

    The head of SADC’s unit, Dr Antonica Hembe, noted that an important aim of prevention and mobilisation activities within southern Africa is to put...

  6. (pp. 31-33)

    In contributing to the debate towards the development of a common, people-centred policy for SADC, the case study of the Alliance of Mayors’ Initiative for Community Action Against HIV/AIDS at Local Level (AMICAALL) provided some useful insights to the Windhoek policy meeting. The organisation is a network of local government authorities, municipal leaders and mayors whose objective is to develop and implement HIV/AIDS intervention programmes for urban dwellers. AMICAALL provides a platform for local stakeholders to work towards reducing the social and economic impacts of HIV/AIDS in urban communities in 13 African countries. Its strategies emphasise a holistic approach and...

  7. (pp. 34-34)

    As SADC and the AU begin to implement their strategic plans for HIV/AIDS, two key issues will have to be addressed. Both the RECs and the AU have critical resource limitations. SADC faces a shortage of relevant expertise, as well as human and financial resources. The SADC secretariat is struggling with the implementation of SIPO and the RISDP, which urgently need to be further developed into coherent, practical and complementary strategies for implementation. The AU’s Department of Social Affairs - which has approximately six professional staff - is also expected to implement the AU’s initiatives related to population and development;...

  8. (pp. 35-37)

    The implications of HIV/AIDS for security in southern Africa will continue to emerge over the next century. The sub-region is faced with a daunting challenge: mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS while establishing new institutions for development, democratisation and peace. The Windhoek advisory group strongly urged SADC’s member states to begin the process for integrating HIV/AIDS into their defence and security architecture. Several key strategies for undertaking a broad partnership with southern African militaries and governments; civil society actors and the academic community; people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS; the United Nations and donor partners were outlined.

    The discussions at the...