Catherine Madebe

Catherine is a female leader invested in sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and beyond. She is the Programs Lead at Mulika Tanzania working at the intersection of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), SRHR and decision-making. She was named SRHR Best Celebrity in Eastern and Southern Africa for her outstanding performance by the Southern African AIDS Trust.

In Their Own Words

My project focused on strengthening adolescent girls and young women’s engagement in HIV interventions as decision-makers and influencing the adoption of new prevention technologies in Tanzania. A key achievement is that the Tanzania Commission on AIDS (TACAIDS) agreed on supporting and collaborating to strengthen AGYW spaces from local and national levels. I have been directly involved in PEPFAR COP and Global Fund advocacy and one key achievement in this area is increased budget for AGYW programming from PEPFAR and Global Fund processes. One outstanding win is that the Global Fund will soon implement PrEP and PEP services targeting AGYW in Tanzania.


Lilian Benjamin Mwakyosi, MD

Lilian is a youth advocate who for the past four years has volunteered at TAYOA (Tanzania Youth Alliance) as a peer educator and counselor for a national health hotline, providing information, counseling and referral services to clients. Lilian also served as a differentiated care youth champion, advocating for different ART delivery models for young people living with HIV in Tanzania. She strongly believes in the meaningful engagement of young people to bring out positive change including preventing new HIV transmission and ending AIDS. Lilian attained her medical degree in 2017 at Hubert Kairuki Memorial University based in Dar es Salaam.

Advocacy Accomplishments for the Year
As the first AVAC Fellow in Tanzania, Lilian blazed a trail successfully pushing for the transition of PrEP from demonstration to scale-up, as reflected in COP 2019. She secured a seat in the PrEP and HIV self-test technical working group, where she advocated for the amendment of The Tanzania HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act 2018 to pave the way for HIV self-testing and a lower age of consent for HIV testing from 18 to 15 years. Additionally, Lilian’s social media presence and her direct training of hotline operators helped introduce PrEP and self-testing to scores of uninitiated Tanzanians.

In Her Own Words
“I feel like a widely knowledgeable advocate now. There were things I never knew in terms of evidence and research-based information, and different advocacy tactics. So, this year has been a series of practical lessons to improve my knowledge base and applying different advocacy tactics.”