NEWS: African Decade of Persons with Disabilities Extended to 2019
AFRICAN DECADE OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 2019
A. CONGRATULATIONS AND GOOD NEWS!
We are ecstatic!
This is to announce that the AU Continental Decade of Persons with Disabilities has been extended to December 2019.
The Windhoek Declaration on Social Development adopted by Ministers in Charge of Social Development on 31 October 2008, adopted Resolution 6, which reads as follows:
‘6. ADOPT the extension of the Continental Decade of Persons with Disabilities for the period 2010-2019; CALL for the evaluation of the existing Decade and its Plan of Action (1999-2009) and the speedy conclusion of the evaluation and restructuring of the African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI)’
In addition to the resolution extending the Decade, the Windhoek Declaration also adopted resolution 5(x) which reads as follows:
‘5. Further commit ourselves to implement the priority strategies under the key thematic social issues spelt out in the Social Policy Framework for Africa, through the following:
(x) Empowering and providing persons with disabilities with equal opportunities, safeguarding their rights and enlisting their participation and mainstreaming them in all development programmes’
The new Social Development Policy adopted by the Ministers in Windhoek Namibia has detailed coverage of disability work. We encourage organisations to get a copy of this policy and apply its contents in your programming processes.
We would like to thank all organisations (notably Pan African Federation Of the Disabled (PAFOD), African Union of the Blind (AFUB), and others), Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD) Staff and leaders, Panel of Experts/Parliamentarians, Pan African Parliament, African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI), the African Union Social Affairs Commission, our Development Partners (Disabled Persons Organizations Denmark [DPOD], Sida, UK Department for International Development [DFID], and Southern Africa Trust), Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and those that supported our down-line networks and DPOs for their support during the first Decade and the campaign towards extension.
We look forward to hard work during the next ten years. We now have the benefit of learning from the mistakes that we made and the experience of managing an initiative of this nature.
B. MORE INFORMATION ON THE FIRST DECADE
The African Union declared the first decade of the new millennium (1999-2009) as the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities. In 2001 the African Union’s Labour and Social Affairs Commission along with its African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI) and the ILO held a meeting in Addis Ababa. In this meeting they designed a Continental Plan of Action (CPOA) to guide the member states of the African Union on how to implement the African Decade. The adoption of the African Decade of Disabled Persons (ADDP) placed responsibility on African States to implement Decade Programme activities.
With this declaration, the African Union adopted a Continental Plan of Action (CPOA) with twelve objectives that African States were to implement over the period.
The twelve objectives cover a wide range of themes that are of critical importance to improvement in the lives of persons with disabilities in Africa. These themes include ideas and strategies to:
1. Formulate and implement national policies, programmes and legislation to promote the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities.
2. Promote the participation of persons with disabilities in the process of economic and social development
3. Promote the self-representation of people with disabilities in all public decision-making structures.
4. To enhance support services for disabled persons.
5. Promote special measures for children, youth, women and elderly persons with disabilities.
6. Ensure and improve access to rehabilitation, education, training, employment, sports, the cultural and physical environment.
7. To promote and protect disability rights as human rights
8. To support the development of and strengthen Disabled Persons’ Organizations
9. Mobilize resources
These objectives where meant to be implemented by Africa States, with the cooperation of civil society organisations.
Kudakwashe A.K. Dube, CEO
This announcement is being circulated by The Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD). Their website is at http://www.africandecade.org.za and is worth exploring for anyone with an interest in human rights or social and economic development for people with disabilities in Africa. I modified this announcement to spell out most of the acronyms.
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