- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 9, 2005

AIDS in Swaziland

The new ambassador from Swaziland says his country is emulating Uganda’s successful anti-AIDS program, as the tiny African kingdom inherited the title of the nation with the highest infection rate from the virus that brings on the deadly disease.

Ambassador Ephraim M. Hlophe, who presented his diplomatic credentials to President Bush last week, said Swaziland has embraced the principles of the so-called “ABC” program that helped Uganda dramatically cut its rate of AIDS cases. The program urges citizens to practice abstinence, be faithful to their spouses or use condoms.

Swaziland, the last absolute monarchy in Africa, passed Botswana as the nation with the world’s worst rate of infection from HIV. Swaziland, with a population of 1.2 million, has a 38.6 percent infection rate among the adult population ages 18 to 49, according to the United Nations. Botswana reduced its HIV infection rate to 37.4 percent.

“One of King Mswati’s highest priorities is to reduce substantially the incidence of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland,” Mr. Hlophe told Mr. Bush.

“While U.S. cooperation and assistance in this sobering endeavor is important, we also see a model for success in Uganda, where the ABC program has offered a path that Swaziland can follow,” he said.

Mr. Hlophe, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, thanked Mr. Bush for the U.S. efforts to promote investment in Swaziland.

“Our country welcomes American firms to explore the many possibilities Swaziland has to offer in mining, tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness and international services,” the ambassador said.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:


• Carlos Basombrio, Peru’s former vice minister of the interior, and Carlos Ivan Degregori, a scholar with the Institute of Peruvian Studies. They address the Inter-American Dialogue on political conditions in Peru.

• Mayors Dzevad Becirevic of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Ismet Beqiri of Pristina, Kosovo; Semere Russom Hadera of Asmara, Eritrea; Mohamed al-Kohlani of San’a, Yemen; Eli Moyal of Sderot, Israel; Theoneste Mutsindashyaka of Kigali, Rwanda; Ghulam Sakhi Noorzad of Kabul, Afghanistan; Barbara Sharp of North Vancouver, British Columbia; and Satbir Singh of New Delhi; and deputy mayors Michel Bourgat of Marseilles, France; Maria Pia Garavaglia of Rome; and Janos Schiffer of Budapest. They attend the International Conference of Mayors, sponsored by the Glocal Forum, World Bank and Gallup Organization.

• Yosri Fouda, London bureau chief for the Arabic station Al Jazeera, who addresses the New America Foundation on the al Qaeda terrorist network.


• Hemayet Uddin, foreign secretary of Bangladesh, who addresses the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


• Amalia D. Garcia Medina, governor of the Mexican state of Zacatecas, who joins a panel discussion on private-sector development aid to Mexico with invited guests of the Inter-American Dialogue.

• Anna Politkovskaya of Moscow’s Novaya Gazeta and Emil Pain of the Russian Center for Ethnopolitical and Regional Studies, who join a panel discussion on the unrest in Chechnya with invited guests at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

• V.S. Arunachalam, vice chairman of India’s Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission, who discusses India’s nuclear program in a forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


• A Russian delegation consisting of Boris Nemtsov, former co-chairman of the Union of Rightist Forces and co-founder of the Committee 2008; Vladimir Ryzhkov, a member of the Russian parliament; Mikhail Zadornov, a former member of the Russian parliament and now president of the Vneshtorgbank Retail Services, Russia’s largest foreign trading bank. They brief the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research on Russia’s drift toward authoritarian rule.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail [email protected]

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