African Union Congratulates Michel Sidibé, on his New Appointment

The African Union Commission congratulates Honourable Michel Sidibé, former Minister of Health and Social Affairs, of the Republic of Mali and former Executive Director of UNAIDS, on his appointment as the African Union Special Envoy for the African Medicines Agency (AMA). Hon.  Sidibé was appointed by the African Union Chairperson H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, following the Executive Council decision of February 2021 (EX.CL/Dec.1110(XXXVIII)) requesting the Commission to nominate an African Union Special Envoy for the AMA. Hon. Sidibé will serve as the African Union Special Envoy for the AMA supporting the signing and ratification of the AMA Treaty by African Union Member States.

In a press statement from the Directorate of Information and Communication, African Union Commission, this reads in part:

“Hon. Michel Sidibé has championed a people centered approach to health and development for over 40 years. He served as Minister of Health and Social Affairs for Mali (2019-2020) and as Executive Director of UNAIDS, holding the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (2009-2019). Prior to joining UNAIDS, Hon. Sidibé worked at UNICEF and for Terre des Hommes, where his passion for advancing global health and social justice began.

Hon. Sidibé is a renowned tireless champion of African-owned solutions and has been an outspoken advocate for local pharmaceutical production of medicines and other essential health commodities. He contributed to the efforts towards access to quality and safe medicines and vaccines and in fighting global inequities. He was initially appointed by the African Union Commission (AUC) as a senior advocate for the signing and ratification of the African Medicines Agency.

Under his leadership at UNAIDS, more than 25 million people started life saving HIV treatment. His vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths has been a rallying call that has inspired millions in the global AIDS and health movement. Global resources mobilized for the fight against AIDS grew from $9 billion to $22 billion during his tenure.

In 2019, the African Union Member States expressed their profound gratitude for his contribution to the attainment of the objectives of the AU, including Agenda 2063 (Assembly/AU/Motion1(XXXII)). Michel Sidibé is the recipient of various African and global awards, including honorary doctorates from world’s leading universities. The support of the Honourable Michel Sidibé, was recognized by the Executive Council for the continued advocacy to mobilize Member States to sign and ratify the African Medicines Agency (AMA) Treaty.  The Envoy will work in close collaboration with the African Union Commission and other AMA partners including the World Health Organization (WHO) to coordinate the ratification of the AMA Treaty.

The AMA Treaty was adopted by Heads of States and Government during their 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly, Assembly/AU/Dec.735(XXXII), on 11 February 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Treaty has been ratified by six (6) Member States (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Rwanda and Seychelles) and signed by nineteen (19). The Treaty will come into force once ratified by fifteen (15) Member States.

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