African Disability Forum (ADF) is the continental membership organization of Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs) in Africa. Formally established in 2014, ADF seeks to strengthen and unify the representative voices of Africans with disabilities, their families and organizations. The African continent is immense with great regional diversity, making it impossible for one organization to directly and fully reflect and represent such diversity. Thus ADF includes and builds upon existing organizations, networks, capacities and successes. ADF does not replace any existing continental or sub-regional organization but invites all to be ADF members. ADF strives to be inclusive and to engage and reflect the views of all existing pan-African, sub-regional and national federations of DPOs.
ADF is an independent, democratic organization, where representative DPOs are the members and decision-makers. ADF pays special attention to the involvement of women and youth with disabilities in all its structures and activities. The ADF governance structure is light with a 9-member Executive Council and a small ADF Office located in Addis Ababa, which focuses on communications and member organizational development and capacity-building activities. ADF works in partnership with all organizations that share the ADF objectives and promote the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in Africa. ADF is a full member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA). To download our constitution, please click this link.
The goal of ADF is to secure the rights and inclusion of all persons with disabilities in Africa by building a stronger, more united and effective African disability movement and voice of persons with disabilities and their families.
ADF has two primary objectives:
To unify and amplify the voice of persons with disabilities, their families and organizations in Africa at national, regional and international levels.
To strengthen the capacity of organizations of persons with disabilities in Africa to promote the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families.
In addition, ADF will:
- Promote awareness of disability rights and disability inclusion among persons with disabilities and their families, DPOs, development NGOs, faith-based organizations, governments, service-providers and care-givers, public and private employers and the general public in Africa.
- Strengthen the capacity of continental, sub-regional and national federations of DPOs to promote disability rights and empower persons with disabilities and their families, and strengthen regional networking and partnerships.
- Represent the voice of Africans with disabilities and their families to the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities and to other African as well as international organizations, and at regional and international conferences and meetings.
- Promote, monitor and report on the ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by all African countries.
- Advise and collaborate with the African Union Commission, its Commissions and Department of Social Affairs on disability issues, and the implementation of the African Union Disability Architecture (AUDA) and other AU policies and programs.
- Advocate for the inclusion of disability issues and persons with disabilities and their families in all development programs and projects in Africa funded by the World Bank Group, the UN and its specialized agencies, the African Development Bank and by other multi-lateral as well as bilateral and other international donor agencies.
- Promote disability studies and research by African universities and research institutes, and advise on research priorities, collaborate on research projects and disseminate research findings for policy formulation and other purposes.
“We must break down the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in society. We must make our schools, workplaces, and communities accessible to everyone.”
Thomas Sankara: The Upright Man by David Lockwood (2006)