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Kennedy Mupeli

Center for Youth of Hope - 2017 Fellow
Advocacy Accomplishments for the Year

As AVAC’s first Fellow in Botswana, Kennedy broke ground forming the first PrEP advocacy coalition in the country—PrEP Watch Botswana. He joined the Ministry of Health’s PrEP Technical Working Group, where he catalyzed drafting of PrEP guidelines and funding for PrEP implementation. He worked closely with communities to introduce PrEP information across the country, generating awareness, demand and advocacy for its implementation. He also identified and supported a PrEP ambassador to champion PrEP and be the public face of PrEP. As a result of his successful PrEP campaigning, Kennedy was invited to write a weekly column on HIV for the Midweek Sun newspaper. His coalition continues to advocate for PrEP rollout as well as the dapivirine ring and other biomedical prevention. He also helped to set up a pioneer health journalists coalition in Botswana to keep HIV/AIDS and other health issues at the forefront of their coverage.

In His Own Words

During my early years of advocacy, I was exposed to a more radical advocacy approach. I have since learnt that sometimes diplomacy is an equally effective approach to influence change. You only need a plan with realistic objectives and evidence. Intensive literature review is also vital for a successful advocacy project. I had all this and it worked for me. I was able to work within the ranks of MoH (technical working group) to influence change and change has happened and is still happening.

I also discovered that most research results that are presented at global scientific platforms, such as CROI, do not find their way to the community. I need to fill this serious gap through basic research training among CSOs and other stakeholders as a tool to effective advocacy.


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