Washington, DC – This World AIDS Day, Equatorial Guinea was recognized by The White House, through the presence of American oarsman Victor Mooney. Mr. Mooney became the first African American to row across the Atlantic Ocean, to honor his brother who died of AIDS and to encourage voluntary HIV testing.
The oarsman’s vessel, christened The Spirit of Malabo, was sponsored by The Republic of Equatorial Guinea with added support of H.E. Mbasogo Obiang Nuguema, Head of State. The White House event was attended by Secretary of State, John Kerry, National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, PEPFAR Ambassador Deborah Birx, MD and other officials, doctors, ngo’s and advocates.
In remarks, Secretary of State, John Kerry said, “We’re not done yet. That’s the message that comes out of here from the President and from everyone in this Administration. With the commitment of every person in this room, we can achieve an AIDS-free generation, and we can silence the armies of pessimism and cynicism and the indifference who said it could never be done. We can and we will defeat this horrific disease, and I’ll tell you, that is a charge worth fighting to keep”.
Mr. Mooney was later given a proclamation from The White House, which was presented to Equatorial Guinea Embassy officials for H.E. Mbasogo Obiang Nuguema partnership in reaching an AIDS free generation. The 2014 theme for World AIDS Day is ‘Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.’
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (República de Guinea Ecuatorial) is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. In the late-1990s, American companies helped discover the country’s oil and natural gas resources, which only within the last five years began contributing to the global energy supply. Equatorial Guinea is now working to serve as a pillar of stability and security in its region of West Central Africa.