HARARE – UK Secretary of State for International Development, Ms Penny Mordaunt recently, announced that up to £12 million UK Aid Connect funding will be available for a consortium led by Hivos to work on LGBT+ inclusion in Africa.
The consortium brings together African LGBT+ networks, research institutes and international NGOs, to promote LGBT+ inclusion on the continent, through a city-level approach.
LGBT+ rights in Africa have made significant progress since South Africa recognized the full equality of LGBT+ people – but only in some parts of the continent. In many places, inequality including media’s negative representation of the LGBT+ people is on the rise. Stigma, exclusion and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, expression and sex characteristics remain widespread and persistent. As a result, LGBT+ communities suffer from exclusion and often live in fear for their safety.
To address the persisting challenges facing the LGBT+ community, promote LGBT+ inclusion in society and to drive positive change, Hivos and seven partners, committed to work together in five cities, under the Strong in Diversity – Bold on Inclusion programme (SiDBoI) for four years (2019-2022).
The consortium will engage societal leaders, empower LGBT+ communities and train journalists and media houses on positive representation; strengthen LGBT+ communities to be more resilient, while also providing research based evidence on the experiences of LGBT+ people.
Speaking after the announcement by Ms Mordaunt, Hivos Regional Director for Southern Africa Tanja Lubbers said, “I would like to thank UK aid for the financial support, it will help us to achieve a shared vision of improving the lives of LGBT+ people. We also hope to create safe spaces for dialogue between LGBT+ people and different stakeholders so that they can play a key role in the development of societal and policy decisions that affect their daily lives.”
The consortium partners are; Hivos (Lead), African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), ARTICLE 19, Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), Kaleidoscope Trust, Synergía – Initiatives for Human Rights, Workplace Pride Foundation, and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London (in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and the University of Pretoria).
The programme is currently at the co-creation phase (Jan – Sept, 2019), and key deliverables include; setting up of city offices, recruitment of key personnel, and consolidation of work plans.
Notes for Journalists:
About the Partners
- The two leading African LGBT+ networks Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) and African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR) guarantee a direct and crucial link to LGBT+ activists and their organisations in the five focus cities.
- Civil society organisations such as Workplace Pride and the Kaleidoscope Trust bring specific knowledge on how to engage respectively the business sector and politicians for LGBT+ inclusion.
- The international civil society organisations ARTICLE 19 and Synergía both have a longstanding presence in Africa and bring experiences of working with the media sector (ARTICLE 19) and on capacity strengthening and regional lobby and advocacy (Synergía).
- Three renowned universities (the School of Advanced Study, University of London, the University of Glasgow, and the South African University of Pretoria) jointly bring expertise in key disciplines of the social sciences and humanities on research for social change, including on human rights and inclusion of LGBT+ people in Africa.
- Hivos brings a long experience in supporting and strengthening local civil society initiatives on LGBT+ human rights and inclusion, including in Africa. It has led various multi-stakeholder initiatives, and has the tools and experiences to bring a wide variety of actors together to jointly make progress on sensitive topics.
The Consortium identified three overarching strategies:
- Engaging societal leaders to convince them to change their – often negative and stigmatising – narratives and actions around issues related to LGBT+ people;
- Educating journalists and media houses to get a better understanding of the daily lives and struggles of LGBT+ people, and encourage diversity on the media work floors; and
- Empowering the LGBT+ communities by providing tools and strengthening skills and expertise that support them to engage with societal leaders and media.
For more information on the Strong in Diversity – Bold on Inclusion, Promoting LGBT+ Rights Programme, please contact:
SiDBoI Programme Manager
Hivos Regional Office for Southern Africa
20 Phillips Avenue. Belgravia,
T + [263 (0) 24 2250463 | 263 (0) 24 2250463 ] Or visit: