African Bodies Breaking Grounds Building Bridges was the theme for the Pan African IlGA Regional Conference that took place in Johannesburg from 13-18 May 2016.what this Conference meant for a Small emerging Trans Specific organization was that we would get an opportunity to network with bigger organizations that have been in existence far longer then us and share experiences and get advice and guidance .
Also to engage with possible future Donors and funder and create those partnerships that would benefit the transgender community of Namibia.The Trans Pre-Conferences were amazing and hands on and we got to see that regardless of where in Africa we come from we Share common situations in our countries.issues of stigma ,discrimination and violence.Access to services mainly the Health care Fraternities and the protection services(law enforcement),Lack of information on trans terminologies and what they mean, Trans needs and issues and Trans Visibility where commonalities that come up .it come to light that as much as we might find ourselves in different parts of Africa Gender Identity issues and needs still need a lot of advocacy ,sensitization and awareness raising.This become evident with many transgender activist expressing their views on how we the transgender community has to always have to advocate for inclusion in settings we are supposed to be part of.The need for us to raise our voices and amplify our Voices for inclusion is a reality we face when trainings and conferences take place.
The Main Conference was informative with panel discussions that motivate and enlightened us on how we can go about ascertaining certain Goals that we as organizations have and how we can lobby for equality and equity for the communities we serve.This Panel Discussions also shared Best Practices and guidelines in ensuring that our advocacy strategies are according to our country context and situations as per our constitutions and how we can use regional and international instruments and mechanism to aid our struggle and Advocacy.
This Conference did bring together 35 African countries and had more then 180 participants from across the Globe.
This indeed was a Safe space where many Africans that are rejected,stigmatized,unacknowledged and discriminated could express themselves fully without fear of stigma and discrimination and be their true selves.The PAN AFRICAN ILGA REGIONAL LGBTI CONFERENCE was indeed Motivational ,Yes Indeed African Bodies Breaking Grounds and Building Bridges.