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Mpofu new chair of global media AIDS initiative

NEW YORK: At the United Nations MTV Networks International (MTVNI) in New York on 1 December 2006, president Bill Roedy handed over the chair of the Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI) Leadership Committee to Dali Mpofu, CEO of the SABC. Roedy has been the founding chair of the GMAI's Leadership Committee, and Mpofu will begin a two-year tenure in this new role.

Kofi Annan, UN secretary-general, commented: "The breadth of participation from companies involved in the Global Media AIDS Initiative has been enormous since launching in 2004.

"Bill Roedy has mobilised media companies around the world to make unprecedented commitments to HIV prevention through innovative campaigns and programming. Dali Mpofu is perfectly suited to build on this terrific momentum by inspiring others to use their creativity and communications skills to fight the epidemic."

The GMAI, which was launched by the secretary-general in January 2004, aims to engage the world's media in the fight against AIDS.

Its strategy is to gain the commitment of media leaders in integrating HIV and AIDS messaging across programming (including: soap opera, talk shows, news, phone-ins and public service announcements), to give air time and page space to the issue, to put in place policies and training for staff on HIV and AIDS and to establish a formal corporate position on these commitments.

Since its launch, over 150 companies from 76 countries have committed to substantially increase the broadcast airtime for HIV & AIDS related programmes and have participated in developing and producing HIV & AIDS messaging and programming across genres and platforms. The initiative was conceived by the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS.

"I am very honoured to have been asked to take up leadership of the GMAI at this critical time in the global fight against HIV and AIDS," Mpofu said. "Africa is worst affected by the epidemic, and this is an opportunity for our continent to demonstrate real leadership in this struggle and to motivate other broadcasters around the world by our example."

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