COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE ONE-DAY ON STAKEHOLDER’S STRATEGIC ROUNDTABLE ON THE ABLE TO SERVE CAMPAIGN

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE ONE-DAY ON STAKEHOLDER’S STRATEGIC ROUNDTABLE ON THE ABLE TO SERVE CAMPAIGN ORGANISED BY TAF AFRICA WITH SUPPORT FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION, HELD AT THE ABUJA CONTINENTAL HOTEL (FORMERLY SHERATON HOTEL) ABUJA ON THURSDAY, THE 18TH DAY OF MAY 2023 TAF Africa is pleased to share the communique of the roundtable discussion held on May 18th, 2023, focusing on the crucial topic of "Disability Inclusion in the Appointment of Cabinet Members: A Call for Inclusive Government." This event brought together key stakeholders, including government officials, disability rights advocates, representatives from disability organizations, and experts in the field, to engage in a meaningful dialogue regarding the promotion and advancement of Disability inclusive appointments at the national and subnational cabinets of the incoming government. This statement serves to provide important updates, decisions, and key information regarding the roundtable. The following Organizations were present at the roundtable:
  • National Democratic Institute (NDI)
  • Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD)
  • National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD)
  • Organization of Persons with disabilities (OPDs)
  • National Association of the Blind (NAB)
  • Albinism Association of Nigeria (AAN)
  • Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD)
  • The Center for ability rehabilitation and Empowerment (CARE) in Nigeria
  • Inclusive Friends Association (IFA)
  • Amputee Coalition of Nigeria (ACON)
The roundtable aimed to accomplish the following objectives:
  1. Raise awareness: The discussion sought to intensify public awareness of the need for PWD inclusion in government appointive positions. It emphasized the benefits of diverse representation, the impact of inclusive policies, and the need to dismantle barriers that hinder the participation of persons with disabilities in government.
  2. Identify challenges: Participants engaged in a comprehensive analysis of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities when seeking government positions. These challenges encompassed attitudinal barriers, physical accessibility limitations, discriminatory appointment practices, and limited opportunities for career advancement.
  3. Share best practices: The roundtable provided a platform for sharing successful strategies and best practices in promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in government positions. Participants had the opportunity to showcase initiatives that have yielded positive outcomes in terms of accessibility, recruitment, appointment, retention, and advancement of Persons with disabilities.
  4. Policy formulation: Recognizing the need for effective policies, the roundtable focused on developing recommendations for governments at all levels to enhance disability inclusion. Participants discussed policy measures that could be implemented to ensure equal opportunities for PWDs, and inclusivity within governmental institutions.
Key outcomes and recommendations from the roundtable discussion include:
  1. That awareness and sensitization should be created to ensure the appointment of Persons with Disabilities in compliance with relevant regulations and standards.
  2. The PWD community should continuously strengthen its advocacy efforts to further promote the rights and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.
  3. Political parties have a significant role to play in facilitating the appointment of individuals with disabilities into government appointive positions.
  4. It is recommended to establish a task force or a dedicated working group to actively influence and advocate the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in appointive positions.
  5. There is a strong demand for ensuring that 10 percent of government appointive positions at the federal, state, and local government levels are allocated to individuals with disabilities. There is a need for a concerted effort to provide widespread education and awareness programs for Persons with Disabilities.
  6. PWDs should be appointed to ministerial, ambassadorial, and heads of parastatal positions to promote inclusion and ensure that policies protecting PWDS are implemented.
  7. All Political parties should mainstream PWD in their constitution to include membership of NWC and NEC and establish disability desks to ensure the inclusion of PWDs in all levels of political activities.
  8. Partnership with the media is paramount in achieving all PWD desired goals.
The roundtable concluded with a commitment from all stakeholders to actively promote disability inclusion in government positions. It was acknowledged that disability inclusion not only aligns with the principles of equality and human rights but also contributes to better governance, more inclusive policies, and improved overall societal well-being. In closing, the participants expressed their gratitude to the organizers for convening the roundtable and acknowledged that this important dialogue would contribute to shaping inclusive policies and practices within government institutions. The communique was signed by: Hajiya Amina Zakari Haruna Muhammad Tsafe, Vice President, NNAD Kenneth Echiche, Nigeria Association of the Blind Chukwunelo Eva, Public Relations Officer Amputee Coalition of Nigeria Chukwunyere Kelsey Nwosu, Comm. Officer, Amputee Coalition of Nigeria Aver Akighir, National Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities (NAPWPD) Sedoo Toryem, Integration, Dignity, Economic Advancement (IDEA Nigeria) Dr. Chris Nwanoro, Lotus Institute for the Blind Amy Onyinyechi Omumere, Legal and Programme Associate, (CISLAC) Maureen Chioma, Chairman, Spinal Cord Injury Association, FCT Chapter Hon. Mohammad Abbah Isah, APC Zonal Leader Hon. Abdullahi Akilu, PDP PWD Leader Lois Auta, Executive Director Cedar Seed Foundation Stephen Idoko, Inclusive Friends Association Christian Agbo, Executive Director, Qualitative Magazine Dr. Chike Okogwu, Former Presidential Candidate of the ADC and Founder of CARE Nigeria Ambassador Jake Epelle, CEO/founder, TAF Africa Olayemi Samuel, Programmes Lead, TAF Africa    

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