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Hosting of international events will boost province’s economy, says KZN Premier

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala. Picture: SUPPLIED

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala. Picture: SUPPLIED

Published Sep 1, 2021

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DURBAN - KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Sihle Zikalala is confident that the hosting of international events will bode well for the province's economic recovery plan.

Zikalala announced that the 21st International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) will take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre later in the year, while the KZN will also host the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) this year.

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He said hosting both the ICASA and IATF conferences is a clear indication that the province is ready to roll down the red carpet and welcome international delegates to its shores once again, since the devastating impact of Covid-19 which resulted in the halting of major events.

“As a hosting province and city, we extend our gratitude to our national government for approving the hosting of this crucial conference. We look forward to hosting an impactful, memorable conference and to partner with the Society on Aids in Africa (SAA),” he said.

Since its founding in 1989, the society has led from the front in mobilising stakeholders to attain the vision of an Africa which is free of AIDS, TB and Malaria.

“We recognise the organisation’s significant role in the fight against stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV. The Society on AIDS in Africa continues to be visible in campaigns of social justice and expansion of quality treatment, care and support for people living with HIV.

“Notwithstanding the constraints brought about by Covid-19, we have no doubt that we will succeed in hosting a successful 21st International Conference for AIDS and STIs in Africa,” Zikalala said.

He added that hosting the ICASA 2021 Conference in Durban is important for KZN as it remains the province with the highest burden of HIV in South Africa.

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"We are happy also to host ICASA 2021 because KZN will also be able to share its many successful stories, many of which are driven by communities themselves at grassroots level to turn the tide against HIV, AIDS, TB and STIs.

“This will be an opportunity also to examine our strategies and impact in reducing HIV infections in key populations as well as the vulnerable groups like girls and women aged between 15 and 24.”

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KwaZulu-Natal

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