PRESS RELEASE: PAI COORDINATOR
For Immediate Release
Contact Monica Tabengwa
1stMay 2015, Johannesburg South Africa.
PAI is proud to announce and welcome Jacobus Witbooi. Jacobus will be responsible for managing all administrative aspects of the Pan Africa ILGA office, including staff supervision, compliance with relevant legislation and relationship to service providers.
He joins the PAI team, having worked for UNAIDS, UNICEF and UNFPA in Namibia to coordinate the involvement of young people in his countries national response to HIV, he played a formidable role in ensuring that young people, including young LGBT youth were involved in developing various national response strategies. He as has also worked for numerous civil society organizations involved in advancing human and people rights, including LGBT rights, the rights of people living with HIV and women’s and girls rights. More recently Jacobus has been working with Gender Links Namibia on a project that works mainstream LGBT issues in the work plans of local authority councils in Namibia.
Jacobus is a strong and confident young man that is well versed on LGBT issues across Africa and the globe and is an expert implementer. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Out Right Namibia, the national organization working to advance the rights of LGBT communities in Namibia and has also previously served on the Board of Directors of the Namibian Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA).
He has considerable experience working in both civil society and donor environments and is currently pursuing his degree in sociology at the University of South Africa. He brings with him the energy and expertise needed to lead PAI in the next stages of its development.
"I am thrilled to be part of the PAI team. My entire career has been spent working on spearheading the Rights of LGBTI Persons and I look forward to continuing doing so at PAI especially ensuring visibility of African LGBTI issues at the United Nations and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights as well as to ensure that member organizations are well informed of these platforms that are available to hold their governments accountable. Now, more than ever, do we as activist need to take advantage of the willingness of the African commission to flag issues of sexual orientation and gender identity to bring them to the table”
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Pan Africa International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (PAI) is a federation of organisations in Africa working to improve human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity expression (SOGIE). PAI has undergone a revival in the past two years as a result of two significant events. In November 2013 a consultative meeting was held in South Africa that was followed by a regional conference in Kenya in 2014 where the current executive board of PAI was elected with ten representatives from the continent. A conference decision was made to register PAI in South Africa where the Secretariat is located because of the prevailing conducive legal environment.