ICASA & KP Pre-conference
Now in its 20th year, ICASA (the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa) is the biggest conference of its kind in the world. With over 10,000 delegates from 150 countries expected to attend the 2019 event, it is the foremost gathering of people working in the field of HIV, as well as leaders, people living with HIV, and others committed to ending the epidemic...
AMSHeR is sponsoring three passionate, driven young people to participate at ICASA 2019. The scholarship includes attending the Key Populations Pre-conference on 29 & 30 November, and the Young Key Population Health Institute on 1 December 2019.
One of the main highlights in preparing an AMSHeR Progress Report had to be our 10th Anniversary. That’s 10 eventful years of promoting non-discrimination for MSM/LGBT individuals, building partnerships and achieving our mission of a healthy and empowered LGBT community in Africa.
Joël was the founder and Executive Director of AMSHeR from 2009 until early 2014. A colourful, outspoken and dedicated champion for human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, and HIV health access for MSM in Africa, he pioneered AMSHeR from a fledgling activist organisation to an influential coalition leader...
As a child, Keke Esom was intrigued by stories of Martin Luther King Jnr’s commitment to achieving social change through dialogue. Little wonder then that as part of the AMSHeR team from 2011 to 2017, he made a significant contribution to advancing thought leadership on human rights and access to HIV health services for LGBT+ and other key populations in Africa...
AMSHeR is founded and rapidly grows into an influential coalition of role-players and advocates who champion the vision of prosperity, safety and wellbeing of the LGBT/MSM connunities in their own countries. Funding for the coalition’s start up costs is secured from UNDP and the Global Centre of Learning for HIV and AIDS (GCoL) at Oxfam GB.
A consensus workshop to define and agree on the objectives of the new coalition is held in Cape Town. A constitution and workplan are developed, with the HIV Officer from IGLHRC hired as the Coalition Coordinator.
The International AIDS Conference in Vienna takes place. AMSHeR now has functional structures, the Coalition Coordinator has become the Executive Director, and AMSHeR has a secretariat of three staff (including the ED, an office manager and a communications intern).
The AMSHeR international sign-on statement shifts the debate linking SOGI and aid conditionality.
AMSHeR coordinates the participation of and submissions from African MSM/LGBTI organisations to the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.
The AMSHeR and CAL-led Statement ensures a broader dialogue on the implications of the UN SOGI Resolution for countries in the global South.
The AMSHeR Secretariat begins a period of transition, culminating in the launch of a new identity for AMSHeR. The Board engages Ingrid Obery as the Managing Administrator to oversee the transition process.
AMSHeR begins its journey into a new strategic plan that moves it from being a purely health-centric organisation advocating access to health care into more of a champion in the LGBT, law and human rights space.
AMSHeR is actively involved at the 60th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, resulting in the graduation of AMSHeR from an MSM (Men who have sex with men) and LGBT organisation to more broadly promoting non-discrimination of individuals based on their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGI).
The Ekuruhleni Declaration follows the Regional Seminar on Practical Solutions on Ending Violence and Discrimination Against Persons based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression. The Declaration makes a number of practical recommendations for State actors including law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system in addressing violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Africa.
AMSHeR convenes a meeting of the Regional Key Populations Networks (ASWA, CAL, SATF) to discuss issues affecting Key Populations and to frame common themes for joint advocacy. These processes yields a joint advocacy plan, titled: Meaningful Representation, Dialogue and Advocacy [MRDA] plan.
AMSHeR begins to focus more on intersectionality and the space and identity of individuals within the multiple identities that they occupy at different spaces in time. More development language emerges, tied to the SDGs and the concepts of ‘leaving no one behind’, social inclusion, reducing inequalities and getting to zero infections.
A second round of the meetings is convened to address the gaps identified and cost the MRDA plan, which is then finalised and disseminated amongst the networks for implementation. The plan remains a first in Southern Africa because it is a marker of diverse key population groups with differing ideology and positioning coming together to identify a common advocacy theme that is at the centre of their struggle in African society.
A self-organised event is held in Naivasha, on the occasion of the 6th Changing Faces, Changing Spaces Conference for further discussion and inputs from potential donors and regional partners on the role and responsibilities of Law Enforcement in reducing SOGI‐based violence. The Mechanism is presented in a sub-regional consultation meeting to organisations and activists from West and Central Africa.
The OCAT (Organisational Capacity Assessment Tool) is rolled out in Harare, Zimbabwe following the successful implementation of a community dialogue with Young Key Populations (YKPs) that enables the selection of Trans and Intersex Rising Zimbabwe (TIRZ), a youth trans-led organisation who is assessed using OCAT. A capacity strengthening plan that includes support provided by the YKP project national officer in Harare is developed and implemented in the country.
A year of highlights: AMSHeR and ASWA jointly organise and convene a Regional Linking and Learning workshop in Nairobi Kenya; AMSHeR provides capacity assessment support to 2 KP network partners GALZ and Outright in Zimbabwe and Namibia respectively; a Strengthening Plan development meeting with Friends of Rainka in Lusaka leads to MoU signing and implementation; the Police Manual Customisation process is rolled out; and AMSHeR coordinates and supports the IAC conference for KP REACH in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
What Drives Us
AMSHeR strives for a future when every country in Africa will enable safe, healthy, productive and fulfilling lives for all its people, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Today, despite the postponement of the 66th ordinary session due to the global health crisis,...
Dar-es-Salaam, 20 October 2016 – On Tuesday, 17 October 2017, a legal consultation convened by the...
AMSHeR is implementing Phase three of the SOGIR Project over an 18-month period in 8 African...