THE International Conference on Aids and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Africa (ICASA) secretariat is in Zimbabwe to examine the country's bid to host the 22nd edition of the continental HIV/Aids conference.
ICASA is organised by the Society for Aids in Africa (SAA) and Zimbabwe was among three countries that managed to apply for the bid before the closing date on August 5.
Uganda, one of the applicants, has since pulled out of the race, leaving Zimbabwe - host of the 2015 edition - to battle for honours with Kenya.
Among the requirements for hosting ICASA are strong government support, including financial commitment and political will to host the conference.
The host country should also show commitment to provide financial support, the conference venue with capacity of plenary rooms of 5 000 seats with at least seven breakaway rooms with capacity from 150 to 1500 seats.
To show the country’s commitment, President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday met the ICASA secretariat and assured government's support to host ICASA 2023.
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"One of our primary requirements to organise ICASA is to have a commitment at the highest level of State," said ICASA director and coordinator of the secretariat for SAA Luc Amarnd Bodea, who is leading the delegation.
"We have acknowledged the commitment of the head of state of Zimbabwe to host 12 000 delegates from across the world."
Bodea said they have assessed Kenya and were now in Zimbabwe before they announce the host for the 2023 edition.
Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Child Care minister, said Zimbabwe has the capacity to host an event of such a magnitude.
He said the country successfully hosted ICASA 2015 despite having been given a short notice to prepare for the conference.
If Zimbabwe is chosen, ICASA 2023 will be held in Victoria Falls.
Chiwenga said government was committed to ending HIV/Aids by 2030.