Regional updates: Africa

Our members are listed on the left or you can click the red umbrellas on the map.

Regional Board Members

Phelister Abdalla (KESWA), Kenya

Aimée Furaha (UMANDE), Democratic Republic of Congo

Regional Network

The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) is a pan-African network of sex worker-led national networks and national and local organisations led by and/or working with female, male and transgender sex workers. It was formed in 2009 by sex workers and women’s activists and non-governmental organisations and is now based in Nairobi, Kenya.

News articles from Africa region are listed below.

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ACCRA, GHANA - USING INNOVATIVE outreach and targeted counselling, peer educators have helped bring about a nearly 30 percent drop in HIV infection rates among Ghana’s sex workers over the past six years.

Thanks to effective campaigns by groups like The West Africa Program to Combat AIDS and STI (WAPCAS), HIV prevalence among female sex workers in Ghana fell from 37.8% in 2006 to 25% in 2009, then further to 11.2%, two years later, according to the National AIDS Commission.

Because sex work is illegal in Ghana, females engaged in the trade are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse which they cannot report because they have little legal recourse.

20th June 2013 by NSWP




TANZANIAN POLICE torture, rape and assault sex workers, sexual minorities and drug users, while medical staff deny them healthcare, undermining efforts to reduce HIV infection, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Tuesday.

20th June 2013 by NSWP

NSWP has received short term funding from the Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund (RCNF) to support our regional networks in identifying and documenting good practice in sex worker led HIV programming; sex workers access to treatment and the impact of free trade agreements; and the impact of HIV programming for sex workers that fails to reflect a rights based approach.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS:  Friday, 12 April 2013 @ 24.00.

26th March 2013 by NSWP

The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) appointed a new Regional Coordinator, Daughtie Ogutu in November.

Daughtie stated on her appointment:

'I am looking forward to a wonderful, fulfilling experience at ASWA. My dream is to take ASWA to a level that is unimaginable, explore a platform and arena where sex workers issues are tabled and discussed without frowned faces and prejudices. My dream is to have an African sex workers movement that is recognized a world leader and agent of change and has the power to influence through collective action and responsibility. I endeavour to build a PanAfrican Sex Worker leadership team that is guided by feminist principles.'

You cna read all of her opening words on the ASWA website here.

21st January 2013 by NSWP

Reports from Kenya are emerging of police blocking and barricading sex workers who were demonstrating today against the recent murders of colleagues and attending the burial of one sex worker.

The protesters had been granted a permit by the police to have a procession in the town of Thika today, and were then planning to continue to the funeral of their colleague.  The police however barricaded more than 300 sex workers at the mortuary.  John Mathenge said the police, some brandishing guns, had threatened demonstrators with tear gas. 

KEWSA, who organised the demonstration in Thika, later addressed the media and demanded police action to investigate the murders.  You can see the ASWA & KESWA press statement on the murders here.

Read more about today's demonstration in Identity Kenya.

18th September 2012 by NSWP

Africa Sexworkers Alliance (ASWA) and Kenya Sexworkers Alliance (KESWA) condemn the killings of sex workers in Mombasa over the last 2 months. This is a violation of Human Rights and proves that sex workers lives and welfare is a great concern to the entire nation.

KESWA has been on the forefront fighting against the discrimination of sex work to avoid such forms of inhuman acts while preventing such occurrences in future. We urge the community, Police and fellow sex workers to help bring the culprits to book. Today it might be her, tomorrow you, me or your own brother or sister.

KESWA demands for quick action and justice, in this regard KESWA is going to hold a peaceful demonstration in Mombasa on Saturday starting at Magongo to Changamwe Police Station, “SEX WORKERS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS AND ONLY RIGHTS CAN STOP THE WRONGS”.

KESWA invites all sex workers and the community at large to join us to stop violence against sex workers who are also human beings. They are our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers! Who will protect us the sex workers? Who will listen to our cry?

John Mathenge                                                          Phelister Wamboi

Act. Regional Coordinator, ASWA                              KESWA Coordinator

7th September 2012 by NSWP

The African Sex Work Alliance,(ASWA) which is managed by the Sex Worker Education, Advocacy and Task Force (SWEAT) seeks to fill the following positions:

ASWA promotes the health and human rights of sex workers within the existing legal systems in which sex work in South Africa, and in Eights African Countries operate.

It also engages in policy activities which promotes the recognition and protection of sex work, and endorses sex work as work. ASWA also leads civil society campaigns calling for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa, and on the African continent as a whole. Targeted programs assist in mobilising sex workers, as well as providing crucial information in respect of health and human rights.

Click on the post title above for more information and full information on how to apply.

Potential applicants must indicate for which position they have applied , and not apply for both positions simultaneously.

Closing dates for both posts is 31st August.

23rd August 2012 by NSWP

The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC) and AWID have expressed deep concern regarding the safety of five staff from the Uganda sex worker organization, Women’s Organization Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA).

Following a police raid on the WONETHA drop-in centre in Gulu town on 7th May this year, five of WONETHA’s members have been charged with “living on the earnings of prostitution”. If found guilty they could face up to seven years in prison.

Documents were confiscated, as well as computers and other material from the center. They also read personal emails and correspondence. The raid took place without a warrant. Two members of WONETHA staff were arrested at the drop-in centre and three were arrested at the police offices when they went to visit their colleagues.

Read the full reports of the international condemnation in these stories on the AWID and WHRD IC websites.

23rd August 2012 by NSWP

NSWP learned today of the tragic news of the death of Abel Shinana, Director of African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) Namibia.

We send our heartfelt condolences to colleagues, friends and family.  A great friend, colleague and superb emerging sex work leader has been lost.

17th May 2012 by NSWP

Following on from our story the illegal raid on WONETHA's offices hundreds of sex workers at popular pubs in Gulu Town are on the run, following the arrest of dozens of their colleagues. The northern regional police spokesperson, Mr Johnson Kilama, said they apprehended dozens of sex workers and committed them to court.

17th May 2012 by NSWP