Introducing Friends Africa, Nigeria: 2013 ONE Africa Award Finalists

The ONE Africa Award is an annual $100,000 USD prize which celebrates the innovations and progress being made by African civil society towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.  We are excited to announce our six finalists for 2013, and this blog series looks at the remarkable work of each organisation.

Friends of the Global Fund Africa (Friends Africa) supports the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria in partnership with the Global Fund by campaigning with civil society, private sector and government groups. This is their second year as a ONE Africa Award finalist, having made the shortlist in 2012 as well.

When Dr. Akudo Ikemba saw some of the work being done by Friends of the Fight (USA), Amis du Fonds Mondial and other Global Fund partners, she realised that Africa needed its own “Friends Africa” that could bring governments, business leaders and citizens together to build support for the Global Fund. A few months later, Friends Africa officially opened its door in Lagos.

Since 2006, Friends Africa has been at the forefront of building and demonstrating African support for the Global Fund. It has raised commitments of $71 million through its Africa Champions for Health campaign, which enlists former heads of states and political leaders to call on African governments to support the Global Fund’s work.  Through its Gift from Africa program, it has secured an additional $5 million from the African private and corporate sectors for the Global Fund since 2010.

In addition to its high level advocacy, Friends Africa is changing the face of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis every day. Friends Africa has extensive programs that are building capacity at local, national and regional levels amongst NGOs/CSOs to engage in advocacy and direct services in their communities.

Moreover, Friends Africa is also leading the charge in engaging SMEs (not just corporate giants) on the policies they have in place for their employees facing one of these diseases. Friends Africa is truly leading an African response to an African problem, taking the fight against these afflictions to the board rooms and the store rooms of African businesses.

Friends Africa also engages African talent and artists, helping them to develop their voices and platforms in the fight against these diseases.

The winner of the 2013 ONE Africa Award will be announced on 8th November in Addis Ababa. Be the first to know who takes the prize by following @ONEinAfrica on Twitter.

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