Benin 13 November, 2015.
Inclusion Africa in conjunction with La Chrysalide, the oldest IA member in Benin, held the first West African Sub-Regional Workshop on Inclusive Education in Cotonou, Benin on 13 November, 2015. The event was part of the proposed 2015 workplan for Inclusion Africa to continue to invest in building the foundation of the organization through addressing thematic priorities of interest to Inclusion Africa members. IA has identified inclusive education as a thematic priority for its West African members.
Inclusion International Vice-President Ms. Fadia Farah gave a brief introduction of the global movement, Inclusion International, addressed Inclusion International’s view on CRPD Article 24 on inclusive education and the implications of its implementation on learners with intellectual disabilities.
Shikuku Obosi, Inclusion International’s Regional Coordinator for Africa shared the findings of Inclusion International’s Global Report on Better Education for All and its implications for Africa.
Margaret Zamudio, IA Board member, represented Inclusion Mauritius and shared the successes her organization’s advocacy work on inclusive education with the government of Mauritius.
Participants heard how through the joint support of UNICEF Ghana and Inclusion Ghana, the government of Ghana had embraced inclusive education and the country was now ready to practice inclusion in schools.
This workshop had thirty participants including IA members, representatives of governmental institutions, policy-makers, civil society organizations, researchers, educators and family members from eight countries in the Western African region – Benin, Ghana, Cote d’Voire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo. The workshop was a dynamic dialogue designed to gather information from participants and encourage shared learning and knowledge exchange. To further membership engagement, IA support the participation of new and potential member organizations to the event – Burkina Faso, Benin, Cote d’Voire, Senegal, Niger and Togo.
Coming out of the event, participants helped to identify short, medium and, long-term actions for change. Inclusion Africa will convene follow-up workshops in the future with West African members to track the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) and increase the members’ knowledge about SDGs. Ultimately; IA will develop a platform for a pan African strategy on inclusive education.