Title

Integrating poverty alleviation strategies into the private sector's response to HIV/AIDS : ALB's business partnership approach to HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Publication Date

1-1-2005

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Maliha Khan

Abstract

Because it affects people in their most productive years, HIV/AIDS has become a threat to development. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region with nearly three- quarters of all the people infected worldwide. Despite its relationship with poverty, HIV/AIDS has been dealt with as a separate issue by governments, NGOs, and the private sector. Africa Loves Baby (ALB), a newly registered South African business specializing in the manufacturing and distribution of African-inspired clothing, has initiated "Sewing Garments of Hope" to address both HIV/AIDS and poverty. The project, designed to work with sewing clusters, combines skills development and life skills training with the traditional business response to HIV/AIDS that consists of education, prevention and care for employees and managers. This study shows that with goodwill and creativity the private sector can bridge the gap between the traditional business response to HIV/AIDS and the NGO sector's effort to address HIV/AIDS and fight poverty. Data collected through interviews of representatives of partner organizations, as well as document review and direct observation reveals that more than anything, people infected/affected by HIV/AIDS need jobs. They need jobs to feed themselves, feed their families and feel a sense of worth. Findings from this research might be of help to a large spectrum of actors. They could guide government and policy makers, international development funding agencies and NGOs in adapting programs and policies for addressing the real needs of people infected or affected by HIV. The private sector in particular will find in the results an incentive to get more involved in development issues.

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