African Leaders Confront Issues to Benefit People with Disabilities
Everyone suffers when citizens cannot contribute because they are uneducated, unwell and unable to work. That’s a fact of life for many people with disabilities. Leaders throughout Africa met in Malawi early in 2014 to confront these issues and seek solutions.
Malawi in Partnership with Special Olympics
Firmly placing individuals with disabilities, especially intellectual and developmental disabilities, on the global development agenda, Her Excellency President Joyce Banda of the Republic of Malawi in partnership with Special Olympics hosted the first ever African Leaders Forum on Disability. Representatives from ministerial offices from several African nations attended, including Namibia, Uganda, Seychelles, Mauritius, Togo, Tanzania, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa.
The forum also included strong delegations from UNICEF, UNAIDS, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, USAID, Lions Club International, Catholic Relief Services, The African Development Bank and many more.
A Call to ActionThis was indeed a call to humanity to help build a fair and just society, which includes all its citizens not because of their physical or mental conditions but on the basis of the content of their ability and to be able to access all benefits. At the close of the African Leaders Forum on Disability two key strategic initiatives were launched by Her Excellency President Joyce Banda, firstly to lead development goal setting for the disability population, and secondly, the formation of the African Leaders Alliance on Intellectual Disability. The Alliance will create a formal body consisting of other Heads of States/Government that will make official recommendations to the African Union on ways to help improve the lives of people with an Intellectual Disability.