January 2022

Dear friends and colleagues

You will have noticed the date on the Newsletter as being January! This was not sent as we have had to review how we send our bulk emails without being blocked!!! And this has not been a five minute exercise!!

Just over a year ago , we held our 6th AfriNEAD conference, our first virtual one, held here in Cape Town. With over 176 delegates, 53 papers and 21 keynote addresses. We can safely say the conference was a great success!

One of the reasons that we brought the conference back to be held in Cape Town, having held the previous 3 other Africa countries: Zimbabwe, Malawi and Ghana, coming back to Cape Town in 2020 for the 6th AfriNEAD conference, was to consolidate AfriNEAD, to reflect on lessons learnt, and thereby strengthen the network to prepare it to go out again into the  region, after hosting the 7th conference in 2023, once again in South Africa.

From our Chairperson


The theme for IDPD last year was “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.” Though COVID-19 crisis has shone light on our pre-existing social inequalities and the vulnerabilities of persons with disabilities as they are doubly affected by this pandemic, the virus also gives us an opportunity to build an inclusive, accessible, and sustainable post-COVID-19 world. The barriers in health and social sectors, including discriminatory attitudes and inaccessible infrastructure requires robust research evidence that is prepared in accessible formats to assist policy makers to hasten change for an inclusive society. One of the approaches that will assist policy makers to hasten this endeavour for an inclusive society would be to put persons with disability central to decision making, to ensure barriers are addressed in an inclusive and timely way. This is central to the 2021 theme for IDPD. Societal Disability inclusion is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do, as it directly contributes to the achievement of broader global, regional and national priorities.

In brief- topics covered in this Newsletter:

  • Research workshops for Disability Research Country Working Groups (DRCWGs)
  • Workshops
  • Governing board
  • Fund Raising Partnerships
  • Our Social Media
  • Report on the AJOD: African Journal on Disability
  • Start of preparations for 7th AfriNEAD conference in 2023

Disability Research Country Working Groups:

 Drawing on the main aim of AfriNEAD which is the need for research evidence on Disability –this is paramount for AfriNEAD. To achieve this, countries affiliated to AfriNEAD need to develop in country disability research round -tables (sort of like subsections of AfriNEAD) and as such we now have 10 established disability research country working groups throughout Africa. Although it is early days, these groups, some more than others, are working hard to engage with policy makers to see that policies for people with Disabilities are influenced by research evidence. So we wish these groups well, and to those who are reading this and who are interested in joining an established group in your country or finding out on how to start one, do please contact the AfriNEAD office.


This year we have had three mini workshops – mainly with and for the members of the Disability Research Country Working groups (DRCWG) one of which was a fee-paying workshop given by Margi Schneider on the Washington Group, and the aim is to present more of such events with the goal of strengthening and deepening the area of disability research evidence. These research workshops though they are targeting DRCWS for capacity building, they will be open to everybody.

Mussa Zulu gave a wonderful workshop where he laid out the aims of in-depth details on a set of workshops he is proposing to hold in the new year. He has developed a 12-part program aimed to: 1. To motivate each other 2. Educate each other 3. To share our experience – there are 12 steps to a mind shift approach – how do you motivate PWDs to let go of too much doubting – enhance productivity and among other things. However, this course is dependent on funding.

Gubela presented to the DRCWG a discussion on WHO GATE Program – Laying out the  priority list for 50 assistive devices for people with disabilities which governments should supply to their people with disabilities in their countries including a WHO assessment tools to evaluate access to AT and user satisfaction.


Having presented our partnership documents to the lawyers from SU, their recommendation is that we should have one simple document which each of the AfriNEAD partners will be asked to sign.  So early in the new year we will be in contact with each of our partners to complete these required documents to renew partnership with AfriNEAD.

Governance document

Afrinead Governance has been discussed with input from the SU lawyers. The issue of becoming a standalone NPO has also been look at. However for now, it has been decided that AfriNEAD stands to achieve more with SU behind us.

Fund Raising 

AfriNEAD literally runs on the smell of a rag! So we have consulted with various parties on our needs for funds.  As this is an ongoing process we can only hope that shortly, and certainly before the middle of next year we might have something to show with our engagement.

Our social media

Has also been boosted!  We have a Facebook page – so please go and ‘like it’. Also on LinkedIn we have over 1000 people, with whom we are linked too! 
Our Website is currently is getting a makeover and by the middle of January it will be up and running.

The African Journal on Disability – AJOD *

Sadly we are losing Dr Charlotte Capri, as the editor in Chief of the AJOD as she is moving to Ireland to take up a job there.  Charlotte has done a wonderful job for which we are most grateful indeed, and we wish her well in here new venture.

We happily welcome Dr Lieketseng Ned as the new Editor-in-chief, and know that the AJOD is going to be in good hands!

Left: Dr Lieketseng Ned, Centre & right: Dr Callista Kahonde and Sister Emily Frances Owusu -Ansah  are associate editors for the AJOD.

*There are always calls for Papers for AJOD –

Start of preparations for 7th AfriNEAD conference in 2023:

No sooner have we put the 6th AfriNEAD conference to bed, than we have to start planning for the next one!  The 2023 conference will again be held in Cape Town and it is envisaged that it will be both a face to face as well as virtual. We are planning to have it towards the end of 2023. So early next year, together with consultations with the governing board and our colleagues, we shall establish a date and a theme for the event. We shall also be forming a steering committee, and if you would like to be involved and feel that you have a skill we could use, kindly contact us.

Kindly note the following attachment to this Newsletter:

  • Disability survey report for Tanzania appendix
  • The Atlas Alliance podcast is out now
  • Post Doc Post- IDEA Research Unit- University of Cape Town
  • Disability Innovation Live: Disability Lens Investment – mapping the sector follow the link (99+) LinkedIn for more information or
  • First ever Disability Youth Summit, experiences from Mozambique and GDS webinars
  • Invitation to join in the Wits Centre for Diversity studies disability reading group –Kindly contact Precious Muzite:0782 6182 67 E-mail: muzite@wits.ac.za
  • Disability Report 2021

    As always, all feedback is most welcome!


    A most wonderful evening was held for the 50th anniversary of the Artscape- where we hope to hold the next AfriNEAD conference in 2023! Thanks for the Photo Jabaar of Christopher Lane – Hillary Lane and Gubela Mji