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African Disability Protocol just one country away from becoming legally binding

January 2024

It’s been a big year for disability rights in Africa, and it’s only January.

In December 2023 Malawi ratified the African Disability Protocol (ADP), followed by Nigeria on 22 January – the same day they won their African Cup of Nations (AFCON) football match.

The ADP is a human rights treaty adopted in 2018 that addresses the forms of discrimination that particularly affect people with disabilities living in Africa such as customs, traditional beliefs, harmful practices and the role of the family, caregivers and community. It also deals with community-based rehabilitation and minority groups within the African disability community, including people with albinism.

The treaty requires ratification from 15 African Union member states for it to become legally binding across the whole Union. It has so far been ratified in Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, South Africa, Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria, meaning only one more ratification is needed.

Since 2022 Equal World has been working with organisations of people with disabilities and other civil society organisations across Africa to help achieve ratification, and has seen great successes. It now seems more likely than ever that the ADP will be ratified in 2024.

Watch our ADP AFCON keepy-uppy challenge video

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