Disability in Africa

Curated news and resources on inclusion and rights

Library > Countries > Africa > Africa

This page has curated news from Africa. There are a total of 38 links.

Highlights

In Communication and Language:

Why do deaf Africans struggle to access their rights? A brief look at sign-language use in several countries. (2023, DW)

In Education and Childhood:

Mapping and Recommendations on Disability-Inclusive Education. In Eastern and Southern Africa (2023, UNICEF)

Cross-Country Brief on Trends in Inclusive Education (2023, Mastercard Foundation)

In Employment, Business and Work:

Cross-Country Brief on Trends in Inclusive Employment (2023, Mastercard Foundation)

In Justice Systems and Legal Capacity:

Recognising the testimonial competence of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities in Southern Africa:

“Lesotho is the only country in southern Africa to successfully contest and change the legal position on the testimonial competence of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. As such, the other countries have lessons to learn both from what Lesotho got right and from what it missed. Two lessons in particular can be gleaned from Lesotho’s experience. The first lesson is that upholding testimonial competence requires the recognition of the right to legal capacity. Second, the recognition of the testimonial competence of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities is merely a first step, they also need to be given the support necessary for their effective participation.” (2022, African Disability Rights Year Book)

In Violence and Harassment:

Uncovering our Hidden Shame: Addressing Witchcraft Accusations and Ritual Attacks. Reports of ritual attacks against children with disabilities in eleven countries, and on children with albinism in five. Some reports from Benin suggest that midwives may kill new-born children with disabilities without informing the mothers. (2022, African Child Policy Forum) See further coverage from the Guardian.

Contents

Assistive Technology

Emerging African Ecosystems for assistive technology: “companies must not only be an expert in AT (not an easy feat), but also need to master financing, hiring, logistics and distribution, warehousing, both physical and digital advertising, customer services”. (2022, AT2030)

Assistive Technology Innovate Now launch of its 5th Cohort on Digital AT and Entrepreneurship (2022, AT Innovate Now)

Back to contents.

COVID-19

Response

Challenges and Opportunities for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in the COVID-19 Response “A limited number of recommended MHPSS activities during the COVID-19 pandemic were planned in countries across Africa, with an even smaller proportion being actually implemented. The implementation level of MHPSS activities was below 50% in most countries. [...] It is critical to build on this to integrate mental health into emergency preparedness and response and strengthen mental health systems in the long term in the post-pandemic world.” (2022, Environmental Research and Public Health)

Back to contents.

Civil Society and Community

Churches in Africa agree on guidelines for disability inclusion (2023, World Council of Churches)

Girls and young women raise their voice profiles of 10 young female advocates in Eastern and Southern Africa. (2023, UNICEF)

Back to contents.

Communication and Language

Sign Languages

Why do deaf Africans struggle to access their rights? A brief look at sign-language use in several countries. (2023, DW)

Back to contents.

Conflict and Peace

Ensuring the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Communities Experiencing Armed Conflict (2022, Women Enabled International)

Back to contents.

Data and Research

Overview

ILO data highlights need for disability disaggregated labour force surveys and investment in data systems. “Across Africa, 31 countries have at least one year of disability-disaggregated data available on ILOSTAT in the 20-year period from 2002-2022.” (2023, ILO)

Back to contents.

Research

A call to give a voice to people with intellectual disabilities in Africa through inclusive research (2023, African Journal of Disability)

Developmental disabilities in Africa: A scientometric review “revealed a trend of broadening research towards systems of care, away from a medical model of disease.” (2023, Research in Developmental Disabilities)

Back to contents.

Economics and Social Protection

Overview

Estimating Households’ Expenditures on Disability in Africa: The Uses and Limitations of the Standard of Living Method. “In lower-income countries, people with disabilities are likely to have fewer opportunities to spend on needed items thus resulting in substantial unmet need for disability-related goods and services. Failing to account for these unmet needs can lead to inadequate systems of social protection if they are based solely on SOL estimates.” (2022, IJERPH)

Back to contents.

Financial Inclusion

Economic empowerment improves disability inclusion: evidence from projects in Rwanda and Uganda working with Village Savings and Loans Associations. (2023, CBM UK)

Back to contents.

Education and Childhood

“I Really Wanted to Further My Education but That Wasn’t Possible” Out of School Experiences of Youth with Disabilities in Ethiopia, Ghana, and South Africa:

“The strongest factor leading to the discontinuation of education across all contexts was the loss of key social support networks and relationships. Participants credited much of their success and inclusion to their supportive relationships. They indicated the essential role that family, peers, mentors, teachers, school staff, personal assistants, and other community members played in supporting them financially and emotionally, assisting them with their academics, and providing disability-related supports in their daily lives.” (Feb, International Journal of Disability, Development and Education)

Children with Disabilities in Eastern and Southern Africa: A statistical overview of their well-being (2023, UNICEF)

Approaches to Deliver Inclusive Education in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. “The review examines in what ways (and the extent to which) different approaches have been operationalized and contextualized to enable the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream education systems, focusing specifically on primary schooling.” (2023, World Bank)

Mapping and Recommendations on Disability-Inclusive Education. In Eastern and Southern Africa (2023, UNICEF)

Mapping Learning to Earning Opportunities in Eastern and Southern Africa:

“Several countries in Eastern and Southern Africa provide government sponsored skills-building and training to youth with disabilities in both special and inclusive settings. Despite these efforts and emerging promising practices, limited outreach leaves youth with disabilities and their families unaware of initiatives. In addition, employers, mentors and investors often do not have processes in place to successfully onboard interns, mentees and employees with disabilities, and some may be reluctant to host them at all because of negative perceptions of disability.” (2023, UNICEF)

A Manifesto for Inclusive Education across African Countries. (2023, HI)

Cross-Country Brief on Trends in Inclusive Education (2023, Mastercard Foundation)

Manifesto on Inclusive Education made by representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities. (2022, African Disability Forum)

A needs assessment of School Violence and Bullying of Children with Disabilities in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region. I hadn't heard of this before, in Zambia, one informant reported:

“There are traditional beliefs, that having sexual relations with a person who is disabled helps you to become cured from a particular disease such as HIV and AIDS. That persons with disabilities can be used as avenues for cleansing and that takes a step further from bullying into sexual violence, sexual abuse, and so on." (link to docx, 2022, Leonard Cheshire)

Back to contents.

Employment, Business and Work

Light For the World and Mastercard Foundation Partner to Enable Youth Employment for Young Africans with Disabilities. (2023, LFTW)

Disability inclusion in the African business community: latest trends and good practices. Includes big multinational companies Unilever and Safaricom setting recruitment targets of 5% of persons with disabilities in their workforces by 2025. (Link to pdf, 2023, ILO)

Cross-Country Brief on Trends in Inclusive Employment (2023, Mastercard Foundation)

Back to contents.

Health

Have we forgotten our obligation to train health workers on disability? A policy analysis in sub-Saharan Africa:

“Malawi, Lesotho, and Rwanda are notable for their detailed training objectives and evaluation plans within their disability policies. These countries provide examples of more proactive approaches, focusing on specific training needs such as sign language and the inclusion of budgeting for training implementation.” (May, medRxiv)

Taking steps towards disability inclusive (sexual and reproductive) health: exploring lessons from programming in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Rwanda. One disability focal point in a health centre in Ethiopia said:

“Once we received a deaf woman who came to the center for help. We understood that she was raped and was pregnant, and as showed the test she was HIV positive. Yet, none of us could explain it to her and inform her on necessary treatment. So she left and never came again. We all remember this lady, so we are committed to learn sign language to be able to address such cases next time.” (link to pdf, 2022, See You Foundation)

Back to contents.

International Cooperation

Overview

Working with self-advocates through the Inclusion Matters project. (2023, Inclusion International)

How a project seeks to solve the north-south power imbalance in leprosy and development work. (2022, The Leprosy News)

Back to contents.

Recognising the testimonial competence of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities in Southern Africa:

“Lesotho is the only country in southern Africa to successfully contest and change the legal position on the testimonial competence of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. As such, the other countries have lessons to learn both from what Lesotho got right and from what it missed. Two lessons in particular can be gleaned from Lesotho’s experience. The first lesson is that upholding testimonial competence requires the recognition of the right to legal capacity. Second, the recognition of the testimonial competence of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities is merely a first step, they also need to be given the support necessary for their effective participation.” (2022, African Disability Rights Year Book)

Back to contents.

Lived Experience and Opinion

Young people with albinism call for acceptance conversations with three advocates. (2023, UNICEF)

Back to contents.

Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism

How the Safari Industry Is Getting More Accessible — and Making Dream Trips Possible for Travelers With Disabilities. (2023, Travel + Leisure)

Back to contents.

Policy and Rights

Situational Assessment in the Euro-Mediterranean region of the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. (2023, Union for the Mediterranean)

Back to contents.

Sport and Paralympics

The development of a policy brief on physical activity and health in Africa for children and adolescents with disabilities: COVID-19 and beyond. (2022, African Journal on Disability)

Back to contents.

Violence and Harassment

Uncovering our Hidden Shame: Addressing Witchcraft Accusations and Ritual Attacks. Reports of ritual attacks against children with disabilities in eleven countries, and on children with albinism in five. Some reports from Benin suggest that midwives may kill new-born children with disabilities without informing the mothers. (2022, African Child Policy Forum) See further coverage from the Guardian.

Intersections between disability, masculinities, and violence: experiences and insights from men with physical disabilities from Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa. The article shares many fascinating quotes, and concludes, comparing with the situation of women with disabilities:

“men with disabilities report threats, verbal and physical abuse by people outside their household and emotional abuse within their households and not the same level of sexual and intimate partner violence as women with disabilities have reported in similar studies”. (2022, BMC Public Health)

Back to contents.