While 68,000 people die of AIDS-related illnesses here every year, HIV/AIDS no longer needs to be a death sentence. I am in Malawi to see how the Department for International Development's support is making an impact on the ground and reviewing how British development aid can be made even more effective.
"I wanted to save lives not put them at risk." That's what a former female genital cutter told me during a visit to Kenya this week, as she explained why she downed her tools and instead became a birth attendant. I believe this woman should be celebrated for taking such a brave stance against the centuries-old tradition of female genital mutilation. And she's not alone.
My first visit since arriving in Zambia was to a UK aid adolescent girls empowerment programme in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of the capital, Lusaka. This initiative is supporting more than 1,500 of the most vulnerable girls, providing safe spaces and mentoring to help build their confidence and life skills.
David Ojok was walking home from school when the gunmen came for him. He was just 13 and was taken prisoner before being inducted into Ugandan rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army. Led by self-proclaimed messiah Joseph Kony, the rebel group inflicted unimaginable suffering during two decades of violence in Africa's longest running civil conflict. David, now 18, was one of 60,000 children abducted by the LRA - trapped in a terrifying limbo - in fear for his life with little hope of a future free from violence. Summoning incredible bravery, the teenager escaped his captors and is now looking ahead to a brighter future as a brick layer with training supported by British aid.
"Here we go again". These words should have been heard in November last year. Not since. That's when the drought early warning lights flashed in Eastern Africa. No one should be saying it now. But now we are seeing pictures of starving Somali babies - pictures that we were promised we would never see again.