Transgender and Intersex groups form Pan-African Alliance

The organizations include South African based Gender DynamiX (GDX), Uganda’s Support Initiative for People with atypical Sexual Development (SIPD) and Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA).


Ugandan intersex activist Julius Kaggwa

A press statement issued in Kampala today (February 2) by Julius Kaggwa, the SIPD director, said the partnership “Will concentrate its efforts mainly on advocacy in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

He noted that by forming the tripartite alliance, the three organizations “Will further solidify and strengthen their work in Africa and a specific mission and vision for the new partnership has been formulated.”

Kaggwa added, “The main focus of this new entity is to support a growing transgender and intersex movement and to engage regionally in advocacy for the human rights of transgender and intersex people. While forming a platform for all regional work of the three organisations, Transitioning Africa is not a new NGO, but will remain a formal partnership of the three organisations and thus retain autonomy locally and regionally and the capacity for its activities will be provided by the three organisations in the implementation of its activities, such as capacity building workshops, advocacy support to other organisations, exchange programmes and mentorships.”

The vision of Transitioning Africa is to see a strong transgender and intersex movement in sub-Saharan Africa, based on human rights principles, while the mission is to strive for gender recognition within social movements in Africa.

The alliance aims to build transgender and intersex leadership and capacity by supporting both individual transgender and intersex activists, as well as transgender and intersex organisations on the continent.

The group’s mission statement adds that Transitioning Africa will advocate for transgender and intersex issues within regional and international platforms, directly, and support local advocacy efforts when invited. It will also aim to document the history of the transgender and intersex movement in Africa.

An Advisory Committee will guide Transitioning Africa on its work. This Committee will consist of six members, including the Directors of the three partner organisations. Three members will be recruited strategically to bring in knowledge and/or skills for the benefit of Transitioning Africa”.

About the partner organizations:

Gender DynamiX: Founded in 2005,GDX was the first organisation in South Africa and Africa which specifically advocates for transgender individuals. GDX provides resources and information about transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming individuals and seeks to promote awareness within mainstream society by means of educating and empowering people from diverse communities, including government departments, service providers, medical professionals, journalists, academia and refugees. GDX also reaches out to parents, partners, children, co-workers and people who journey alongside trans people.

Support Initiative for People with atypical sex Development: The group was founded in 2007 by Julius Kaggwa, a Ugandan intersex activist. This Human Rights organisation is the only intersex health and rights organisation in Uganda and the East African region that specifically addresses the human rights of intersex people and provides reliable and objective information on the plight of intersex and gender non-conforming persons in Uganda. SIPD advocates, mediates and provides services for intersex people throughout Uganda. Their objectives are to advance intersex people’s rights through national legislation. A primary goal of SIPD is to end the stigma and secrecy surrounding intersex people, affording them freedom of choice and decision regarding their gender identity.

Transgender and Intersex Africa: TIA is an organisation that has been initiated by black transgender individuals to focus on black transgender and intersex issues in South Africa in 2010 and was funded in 2011 by Mama Cash. Their aim is to break the silence and stop ignorance about the existence of the black Transgender and Intersex community in South Africa especially in the rural areas and black townships. TIA also want to bring the knowledge of applicable terminologies and a better understanding of the condition, however not dismissing the indigenous knowledge of African transgender and intersex identity. The founder, Tebogo Nkoana worked previously at Gender DynamiX and was an Exchange Programme participant.

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