Policymakers and experts attending an international meeting here on persons with disabilities (PWDs) on Tuesday called for more efforts to include PWDs in Africa’s major development agendas.
Participants at the conference, organized by the Rehabilitation International (RI) organization at the UN Economic Commission for Africa, will evaluate opportunities, challenges and the way forward with regards to PWDs on the African continent and beyond.
IR President Zhang Haidi said in her opening remarks that though the international community has registered remarkable achievements with regards to the inclusion of PWDs, much needs to be done for a better inclusion and rehabilitation platform.
“Though we have made considerable progress in advancing disability affairs worldwide, there are still many persons with disabilities living in poverty,” she said.
“It should be the goal and mission of every one of us to help improve their living conditions and create a favorable environment for their equal, inclusive and sustainable development,” Zhang said.
Nothing that there are close to 118 million people in Africa under the category of disabilities, Demelash Bekele, IR deputy vice president for Africa region, said challenges such as accessibility of services, lack of assistive devices, poor inclusive education, and access to health services are preventing African PWDs from being included through development agendas.
The conference is organized by Rehabilitation International in partnership with China Disabled Persons Foundation.
RI is a global organization and network striving to empower persons with disabilities and provide sustainable solutions to achieving a more inclusive society. Enditem