Africa

African LGBTI advocacy group gains official status

Logo of Pan-Africa ILGA

Logo of Pan-Africa ILGA

An Africa-based advocacy group working for continent-wide recognition of  the human rights of LGBTI Africans has won official recognition in South Africa.

Pan-Africa ILGA (PAI), the continent’s regional chapter of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), announced its new official status in the following press release.

In 2014, about 150 African LGBTI activists gathered for a strategy and educational conference that PAI held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Workshops during the conference focused on topics including LGBTIQ refugees, media strategies in the quest for recognition of human rights, organizing on behalf of LGBTI people in rural communities, online advocacy, emotional support for LGBTI people in the Middle East and North Africa, and the needs of French-speaking activists.

Press Statement

 Les délégués de la conférence Pan Africa ILGA au Kenya en Mars 2014. (Photo de Colin Stewart)

Delegates at the Pan Africa ILGA conference in Kenya in March 2014. (Colin Stewart photo)

Pan Africa ILGA (PAI) is pleased to announce that on 22 July 2015 its application for registration as a Non-Profit Organization, under the South African Non Profit Organizations Act, 1997(Act 71 of 1997) was approved and granted.

This tremendous gain will benefit Pan Africa ILGA and all its member organizations working to advance the rights of LGBTI people on the African Continent. Organisations working to advance these rights are often denied official registration in their countries. These restrictions limit their abilities to function as legitimate partners in civil society.

“While the law in South Africa allows for registration of organisations working on LGBTI rights, PAI’s registration and the ruling by the High Court of Kenya allowing for the registration of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission are examples of Africa’s recognition of every minority in the region,” said Anthony Oluoch, secretary to the board of PAI.

We call on other African governments to follow in these footsteps and allow groups and organizations working to advance the rights of minority groups to be registered as well as the excellent example set by the government of Mozambique, which has just recently decriminalised homosexuality in the country.

PAI, through its board and staff commend the South African government for granting this registration and for recognising that the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly are the cornerstone of LGBTI organizing and advocacy.

PAI will operate from Braamfontein, Johannesburg, from 1st August 2015. This registration status comes at the right time as it will ensure an enabling environment for effective regional advocacy on the continent.

For further enquiries please contact PAI secretariat in Johannesburg : Jacobus Witbooi, Tel: +27721968743, email: jacobus@ilga.org , twitter: @jacobuswitbooi or PAI board: Monica Tabengwa, Tel +2677137973 (Botswana) +27736553686     email: monicat@ilga.org , twitter: @tabengm

PAI  is the African chapter of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. PAI is dedicated to supporting LGBTI organizing in the promotion and protection of LGBTI rights in Africa.

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