FORMER Ghanaian President who is also a United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Eminent Person, Jerry Rawlings is tomorrow expected to start a five-day visit in Tanzania in which his agenda will be on a war against HIV/AIDS.
A statement issued by the United Nations Information Centre in Dar Es Salaam said his busy scheduled from November 1 to 5 would include meeting with President Benjamin Mkapa and the Zanzibar President Aman Abeid Karume in which issues of HIV/AIDS will be discussed. He is also expected to speak on the pandemic with non-government organizations, UN Agency staff, volunteers and University of Dar Es Salaam students.
His trip to Tanzania as an eminent person for the International Year of Volunteers (IYV) follows recent similar visits in Kenya and Ethiopia, the UN statement says. "As an eminent person, Rawlings is promoting volunteering in the fight against HIV/AIDS," it says.
Rawlings is also scheduled to tour central Tanzania where he would attend the launch of Tanzania's National AIDS Policy and later address the Parliament. According to the statement, he would also meet the National Committee for the IYV. Rawlings was President of Ghana for 19 years and is renown for spearheading and engaging in many volunteer activities for the development of his country.
Selection as Eminent Person for the United Nations 2001 IYV is in recognition of his efforts on behalf of his community groups, independent voluntary organizations striving to improve social and economic conditions in Ghana.
He left office in January 2001 and is one of four eminent persons joining with the UNV to help raise the profile of millions of volunteers working for peace and development around the world. The others are former Executive Director of the UNFPA, Dr. Nafis Sadik, Anita Roddick, the founder of the Body Shop and Spain's crown Prince of Asturia.