The conference will assess and analyse the situation for persons with disabilities on the African continent within the context of the post 2015-development agenda. High on the agenda will be the issue of advocacy and a deeper commitment and cooperation between African DPOs, intergovernmental bodies and development cooperation agencies operating in African countries.
There are an estimated one billion persons with disabilities worldwide—80 per cent of which live in developing countries. Persons with disabilities are overrepresented amongst those living in absolute poverty; face restricted access to health care, education and employment opportunities and, in many instances, are the first victims of violence and abuse. The conference provides an opportunity to address these issues, by reflecting on relevant future goals and advocacy work, in order to develop a strong and unified message regarding the inclusion of persons with disabilities in future development goals.
“The motto used during the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) was “Nothing about us without us”. This means that nothing about persons with disabilities can be decided without participation from every region of the world, including Africa. Africa is strong, and now is the time to raise a unified voice that says that persons with disabilities can be heard and can make a difference,” said Yannis Vardakastanis, during the opening session of the conference.