Rwanda’s first lady Jeannette Kagame said there has been success in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa but the battle was being impeded by gender inequality. Picture: AP Photo/Ben Curtis

Johannesburg – Rwanda’s first lady Jeannette Kagame has asserted that although there has been significant success in the fight against HIV/AIDS on the African continent in the last 20 years, the battle was being impeded by gender inequality.

Kagame made her remarks as she addressed a week-long, high-level session of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) which began in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Monday, the New Times reported.

The high-level session themed ‘Leadership of African First Ladies in the fight against HIV and AIDS’, took place on the sidelines of the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) and brought together about 10 000 delegates from across Africa.

Kagame, while highlighting the achievements and efforts by OAFLAD in fighting against HIV/AIDS in Africa, challenged members of the body and partners to engage in more discussions on the unravelling problems.

"It should be an opportunity for us, to have genuine and open conversations, about the diverse challenges, including those resulting from gender inequality," she said.

Rwanda’s first lady Jeannette Kagame said there has been success in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa but the battle was being impeded by gender inequality. Video: Zodidi Dano/ African News Agency.

Rwanda's new HIV infections had decreased by 83 percent in 2018 and AIDS-related deaths have dropped by 82 percent in the last 20 years.

Attendees included the first ladies Antoinette Sassou N'guesso of Congo Brazzaville, Hinda Deby Itno of Chad, Aïssata Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger, Rebecca Akufo-Addo of Ghana, and Neo Jane Masisi of Botswana.

African News Agency (ANA)