New York, 26 September 2018

President Kagame today delivered a Keynote Address as the Chairperson of the African Union at a Panel Discussion on Breast and Cervical Cancer hosted by the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA).

The event, which was also attended by First Lady Jeannette Kagame, is part of on-going efforts by African First Ladies together with the African Union and the World Health Organisation (WHO) towards charting a roadmap for advocacy in the fight against breast and cervical cancer.

In his keynote remarks, President Kagame highlighted the risks brought about by inadequate health systems across the African Continent. He noted that Africans who get sick are more likely to die than people in other regions because life-saving treatment, if accessible at all, comes too late.

The President observed that without proactive gender-based policy-making, women’s unique health needs are likely to be neglected by health systems. He stressed that Africa cannot achieve socio-economic transformation when its people are not in good health.

“Non-communicable diseases, especially cancers are a growing public health threat on our continent exacerbated by weak health systems. However, like many of the challenges that Africa is facing, we know what needs to be done and we have the means to work together and make progress. We have seen good results in controlling other complex medical challenges such as HIV/AIDS. These experiences hold valuable lessons for the fight to protect women’s health,” President Kagame said

Prior to the Panel Discussion, President Kagame joined Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat in a meeting hosted by Angolan João Lourenço President on funding Peace Supports Operations.

The Head of State also chaired the SDG Center for Africa Board Meeting and participated in an investors’ roundtable focused on political and economic trends in Rwanda, Africa, and globally.

Later in the afternoon, President Kagame joined other world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron in the Second Summit “One Planet” on Climate Action, an event aimed to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement and engage public and private players in the race against global warming.