Ms Otiko Afisah Djaba, the Executive Director of Henry Djaba Foundation has called on Ghanaians to patronize the products of Persons with Disability to enhance their economic growth.
She said even though they were disabled, some of them had great talents of technical and vocation skills which needed the support of all and sundry.
Ms Djaba made the call in Accra during the two-day maiden Ability Fair on the theme “Creating Opportunities for Persons with Disability” to showcase their products, capabilities, and talents to the public.
The programme was organised by the Foundation in collaborating with stakeholders including the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA).
It was organised as an extravaganza for PWD and children with special needs and vulnerable girls to display goods and services.
Ms Otiko Afisah Djaba, the Executive Director of the Foundation said the fair was to facilitate the exhibition of products and provide PWDs with marketing and self-employment opportunities, access to business opportunities, assistive devices, and ICT services.
It will reduce the huge barriers, challenges and misconceptions about the ability of individuals with PWDs and promote disability inclusion.
She expressed concerns about the neglect of PWDs because they were a minority group, marginalised, living in poverty and dependent on charity for survival.
“PWDs face several barriers of segregation, ignorance, lack of awareness, negative misconception, taboos and prejudice that worsened their plight and make it difficult for them to enjoy their rights and life,” she noted.
Ms Djaba stated that PWDs’ situation should not define them because “disability is not inability” and that they also required the same benefits of education, healthcare, employment, financial independence and skills training just like the abled persons.
She appealed to the public to support them by patronising their products to bring hope and smiles on their faces.
A speech read on behalf of Niyi Ojuolape, the Country Representative of UNFPA, said the theme for the fair resonated with the activities of the Fund in ensuring that PWDs were able to access inclusive quality information, health care services, especially with their sexual and reproductive rights, among others.
She said the UNFPA agenda aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 principle of leaving no one behind in development, stressing that, in planning for the country, authorities must involve all, especially PWDs.
“We have partnered the Ghana Disability Federation and the Henry Djaba Foundation to do advocacy, service delivery programmes to address the distinct, peculiar challenges affecting PWDs in the country”.
Mr Alexender Kojo Tetteh, the President, Centre for Employment of PWD commended organisers for creating the platform for them unearth their talents, appealing for the event to be done annually.
Brand Ambassadors; Okyeame Kwame, Obour, Nana Ama McBrown performed with sterling music to throw their support to the programme.