Short day in Angola for Prince Harry – focus on HIV/AIDs and landmines

The Duke of Sussex has continued his tour of southern Africa alone, and on the sixth day he was in Angola. Yesterday was spent in Angola’s capital Luanda, for just a few engagements, before Prince Harry heads to Malawi.

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The Duke was received at the Presidential palace by a guard of honour before meeting His Excellency João Lourenço and his wife, First Lady Ana Dias Lourenço. President Lourenço has been President of Angola since 2017.

Harry and President Lourenço spent the meeting discussing a variety of issues facing the country, and it is thought this included Angola’s decision to commit £48 million to the effort to rid large swathes of the country of landmines.

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On Friday, the Royal retraced his mother’s footsteps that brought us the famous pictures of Diana in a vest and visor; Harry also undertook one of these minefield walks, and detonated a newly-discovered landmine. He spoke of how he was ‘deeply connected’ to Botswana.

The Duke of Sussex also received briefing from First Lady Ana Dias Lourenço on the work of Born Free to Shine, a project spearheaded by the First Lady which focuses on preventing HIV/AIDs transmission from mothers to babies and addresses the medical and socio-education issues around HIV and Aids which are still taboo issues in Angola.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mrs Lourenço told The Duke, “In Angola, we are committed to the eradication of HIV transmission, statistics in our country are very concerning. The programme is aimed at making children all free to shine.”

The project is run by the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development and the African Union. Their goal is to end childhood AIDs in Africa by 2030.

Despite the country’s low infection rate, other factors such as high fertility and a young population, combined with a lack of awareness, are driving infection rates up, and rates of mother-to-baby transmission are the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Duke then visited Lucrécia Paim Maternity Hospital to see project with First Lady.

Next, The Duke of Sussex will travel to Malawi for the next leg of his tour. On Monday he will be reunited with The Duchess of Sussex and his son, 4 month old Archie, in Johannesburg.

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