Akina Mama wa Afrika

Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) is a pan-African NGO, with an office in the United Kingdom (1985) and in Uganda (1996). The name means "Solidarity amongst African women". AMwA 's mission is to serve as a networking forum for African women. It builds female leadership capacities to influence policy and decision-making at national and continental level. The aims are to strengthen feminist leadership, to contribute to conceptualisation of issues and to deconstruct power relations, and to make policies at national and international level more responsive to women's needs. AMwA achieves its goals through implementation of three programmes: a leadership programme, documenting feminist analyses and strategies, and a lobby programme targeting policy makers e.g. at African Union, East African Community and World Trade Organisations. During the past 5 years AMwA-East Africa has trained over 500 women in leadership positions in order to make a qualitative difference in women's lives. AMwA, as part of a coalition of 19 women's organisations, is running a campaign for the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. To date 25 countries have ratified the Charter. The AMwA-EA office has established close ties with young women through its Regional Leadership Development Centre and with women's organisations as FIDA, FEMNET, Isis-WICCE and WILDAF. It has realised a breakthrough on debating sex workers and lesbians rights in the women's movement. AMwA convened leadership forums, organised sub-regional forums in West and Southern Africa, and organised Training of Trainers courses for French speaking Africans.
Hivos supports AMwA-EA because of its role in promoting and facilitating women's empowerment and it efforts to promote women's political involvement in the Eastern Africa region.

Type organisatie

Service organization /non-profit


Gender, Women and Development


Regional: East Africa



Hivos partner sinds




African Women's Leadership Programme 2008-2011

DAC-sectors: Human rights
Strengthening civil society
Beneficiary: not relevant/other
activityWomen leaders trained in leadership skills and a strong network
Direct outreach280 - Policy level/ institutional
Indirect outreach1400 - Intermediary level
activityCampaign for VAW and SRHR in policies and programmes at nationa land continental level
Direct outreach280 - Policy level/ institutional
Indirect outreach1400 - Policy level/ institutional
activityContribute to buiding a pro-active feminist movement
Direct outreach280 - Policy level/ institutional
Indirect outreach1400 - Intermediary level
Contract total:370.000
Contractperiod:01-04-2008 until 31-03-2011 
AMwA will continue building female leadership skills and women's influence in decision-making in Africa. An extra effort will be made to advance the quality of leadership training.
Key areas are:
- Women's leadership development. It concentrates on skills, attitude and knowledge building to equip women to participate in areas where decisions are made. AMwA will run two African Women Leadership Institutes targeting 40 young women from Sub-Sahara Africa. Planned achievement is stronger participation of women to develop policies and interventions that addresses specific women's needs. Two leadership trainings will be organised for sex workers. These leaders could become the core group of an East African sex workers network.
- Strengthening feminism in Africa. This has a focus on organisational and individual development from a feminist perspective. AMwA assists in organising Feminist Forums throughout Africa. AMwA publishes women's experiences and strategies to address patriarchal power relations and systems. Special attention is given to conflict and post conflict countries. AMwA documents Oral-Her stories and a Leaders Journal highlighting issues related to African women leadership. New partnerships will be developed with women from the private sector, women with disabilities, sex workers and sexual minorities.
- Lobby at national and international levels. AMwA prioritised the themes sexual and reproductive health rights and gender and poverty in economic planning and poverty reduction policies (PRSP). AMwA continues to lobby on the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. It will be a victory if the Ugandan government is signing in 2010.
Hivos supports these interventions because these will enhance and increase women's voices at various decision-making levels. Especially for sensitive issues as sexual and reproductive health issues, improved regional policies and voices can influence the policy-making at national level.

Campaign against the Anti-homosexuality Bill, 2009-2010

DAC-sectors: Human rights
Strengthening civil society
Beneficiary: GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual) people
activityComprehensive advocacy campaign against anti-homo bill.
Direct outreach50 - Policy level/ institutional
Indirect outreach1000 - Intermediary level
Contract total:40.000
Contractperiod:01-10-2009 until 31-03-2010 
Campaign against the Anti-homosexuality Bill Uganda, 2009-2010

In Uganda in recent years a tendency has gained strength to control independent forces in society. NGOs have come under stricter scrutiny and been subjected to formal state control. Media is suffering from the same sort of interference. One particular group has been targeted most: the gay and lesbian community. Government and religious leaders have repeatedly lashed out against them, tabloid papers incite readers to expose and denounce gays and lesbians. This has culminated in a private member bill in parliament, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of October 2009.

This Bill calls for increasing and expanding penalties for 'homosexual acts'. It covers Ugandans who live abroad. Anyone in Uganda who knows a gay or lesbian and does not report that to the authorities can be prosecuted. A homosexual risks life imprisonment, and the death penalty if he or she is hiv positive.

The Bill in reality goes far beyond what its title suggests. It asks the Government to withdraw from international conventions that uphold rights for minorities and forbid discrimination. It puts at risk medical personnel, teachers, parents, civic leaders, human rights activists, CSO and NGOs, media, etc. In short, the Bill goes against the Constitution.

A coalition of Ugandan NGOs has been formed to campaign against this Bill. The coalition includes progressive women organisations, academics and LGBT groups. AMWA, Akina Mama wa Africa, will host the secretariat of the coalition.

Uganda is not the only country with threatening legislation in preparation. Rwanda is another case. And in Kenya homophobia is resurging. Therefore the Coalition closely collaborates with like-minded and LGBT groups in the region and wider in Africa. Experts with experience of campaigning in other countries with anti-homosexual legislation, e.g. Nigeria, Cameroon, will visit Uganda and share their experience with the Ugandan activists.

The Coalition's aims are the following:
- Carry out a comprehensive advocacy campaign to defeat the Bill; components herein are a think-tank, a media strategy, lobby encounters with policy makers, and injunctions to stop the bill and build a constitutional case against it.
- Build a broad coalition of Ugandan, East African and African organisations and human rights defenders, that will remain active after the Uganda campaign.
- Increase the capacity of the LGBT movement to engage in advocacy and work for meaningful change, in Uganda and the region.

Hivos supports this campaign as the Bill threatens fundamental freedoms in general, and targets sexual minorities in particular.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Advocaten voor mensenrechten