What is thought to be the first Pride parade in Namibia will take place on Saturday.

Around 40 people are expected to attend the march in the town of Keetmanshoop, the capital of southern Namibia.

The event is meant to coincide with the launch of new a new initiative for sexual minorities known as Ada Ma / Hao, which means ‘Let’s Stand Together’, said a press release by the Czech Republic’s NGO People in Need (PiN), which is supporting the project.

“Human rights, including justice, equality, humanity, respect and freedom of expression, and the rule of law are the foundations upon which democratic states are built,” said PiN Sexual Minorities Co-ordinator Jacobus Witbooi.

“Indeed, International Human Rights Law is grounded on the premise that all individuals are entitled to the same rights and freedoms, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

The Ada Ma / Hao project aims to lobby for sexual minorities in the areas of human rights and HIV/Aids in southern Namibia.

“Join us as we embrace the concept of unity and equality and commit ourselves to achieving a world in which all people can live in safety and freedom, no matter who they are or whom they love,” said Witbooi.

Gay sex is illegal in Namibia, based on the common law offence of committing “an unnatural sex crime”. Despite anti-gay statement by government leaders in the past, homosexuality has very rarely been prosecuted since the 1980’s.

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