Inclusion Africa (IA) is a pan-African, regional federation of family-based organizations advocating for the human rights and full inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities and families throughout Africa. IA was registered with the Civil Society Commission as an NGO with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya in October, 2012 and has been operating for over ten years.
IA is one of the largest Africa regional non-governmental organizations in the field of disability, and the only regional disability organization to focus on persons with intellectual disabilities and their families in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Member countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe. Inclusion Africa also functions as the regional body to Inclusion International.
What challenges do persons with intellectual disabilities and their families face in Africa?
Persons with intellectual disabilities and their families in Africa are constantly confronted with staggering levels of unemployment, extreme poverty, inequality and exclusion. Issues of stigmatisation and discrimination continue to be a major challenge. Notwithstanding the fact that some African Governments have signed and subsequently ratified the CRPD, most of the national disability laws being implemented in those countries are CRPD non-compliant.
In Africa there exists deeply rooted stigma and widely held discriminatory attitudes towards persons with intellectual disabilities, which undermines many efforts to bring about change, both at the government and NGO level. In many of our member countries, intellectual disabilities are attributed to spiritual matters or ‘juju’ and thus families known to have a child with an intellectual disability can be ostracized and feared. This drives the issue underground, so that babies and children with intellectual disabilities are hidden, locked in rooms, denied access to health care and education. Sometimes these children are killed. Due to this level of stigma, persons with intellectual disabilities are often invisible in the community and excluded from participation in the social, economic and cultural life of their communities.
Vision: An African continent where persons with intellectual disabilities and their families equally participate in all aspects of life.
Mission Statement: To advocate for the equal rights and inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities and their families in Africa.
We the board, staff, and members of Inclusion Africa hold the following values to be the foundation of our identity as a community. We pledge ourselves to act, in the totality of our life together, respect for the general principles of human rights, in accordance with these values:
- Equal participation and inclusion
- Respect for human diversity, inherent dignity, and individual autonomy including the freedom of choice and independence
- Belief in the potential of persons with disabilities
- Transparency and accountability
- Families and self advocates led
- Collaborative partnerships and respect for autonomy
Board of Inclusion Africa (Elected in February 2017):
- Jaleel Odom – Chairman(Ghana)
- Barbra Phiri – Vice Chair(Zambia)
- Charles Umundi – Secretary General(Kenya)
- Fauzia Haji – Treasurer(Zanzibar)
- Mark Mapemba – Self Advocates Representative(Malawi)
- Pamela Somses – Southern Africa representative(Namibia)
- Victor Alipui – Western Africa Representative(Togo)
- Edith Tumushabe- Eastern Africa Representative(Uganda)