Dira Sengwe (take action) is a South African based NGO that was established in 2003 by the members of the local organizing committee of the groundbreaking XIIIth International AIDS Conference held in Durban in 2000. The 2000 Conference still remains one of the largest AIDS Conference ever held in Africa and is acknowledged as the turning point in the struggle to ensure affordable AIDS treatment. Following the international awareness generated by the more than 2000 journalists who attended the 2000 Conference, successful pressure was exerted on the pharmaceutical industry to dramatically reduce the cost of AIDS treatment and an international movement was begun to secure donor support for treatment in Africa. This eventually led to the establishment of the PEPFAR Programme and the Global Fund.
Dira Sengwe is the custodian of the South African AIDS Conference (a biennial event) that helps shape the South African AIDS response. The 1st South African AIDS Conference was held in 2003 and the 9th took place in June 2019. This series of superb biennial conferences draw substantial participation from more than 4000 individuals from multiple disciplines and from both professional and non-professional groups. Past and present chairpersons of the Conference have included; Prof. Hoosen Coovadia, Prof. Lynn Morris, Prof. Olive Shisana, Prof. Linda-Gail Bekker, Prof. Francios Venter, Prof. Koleka Mlisana, Dr. Nono Simelela, Dr. Sue Goldstein and Prof, Refilwe Phaswana-Mafuya.
The Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) was established in 1997 as a department in the South African Medical Association (SAMA). In 2000, FPD was registered as a separate legal entity (Registration Number: 2000/002641/07). The South African Medical Association, a non-profit company, has a 90% shareholding, while the remainder of the shares are employee-owned.
FPD provides a macro meeting and events management service with skilled and experienced staff working on state-of-the-art project management systems. We offer our clients a solid partnership on all aspects of events and conference management, guaranteeing the successful roll-out of your project. The organization is well established and recognized in the industry for excellence.
As one of very few conference management companies in South Africa that operates solely on a professional management fee structure, we always commit FPD to serving the client’s best interest and to significantly reduce the operational cost of hosting the conferences by negotiating the best fees from service providers such as venues, accommodation establishments, audio visual suppliers etc. often below nett rates.
Our model differs substantially from the traditional PCO services and is unique in South Africa.