African Decade of Disabled Persons (2000-2009)
The Africa Decade of Disabled People (ADDP) is an initiative of the non-governmental community of Africa in cooperation with member States and Governments of the Organization of African Unity to further equalization of opportunities of persons with disabilities. The decision to proclaim the Decade is the result of a recommendation by the Labour and Social Affairs Commission of OAU during its twenty-second session at Windhoek (19-24 April 1999) and adopted by the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, meeting at Algiers (12-14 July 1999). The period 2000 to 2009 was formally proclaimed the African Decade of Disabled Persons at the seventy second ordinary session of OAU Council of Ministers and thirty-sixth Assembly of the Heads of State and Government, respectively, held at Lomé (10-12 July 2000), with the goals of promoting awareness and commitment to full participation, equality and empowerment of persons with disabilities in Africa. Following the proclamation of the Decade by OAU - now African Union - responsibility for organizing the Decade was given to the African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI), an OAU regional institution headquartered in Harare, Zimbabwe, with sub-regional offices located in Dakar, Senegal (for West Africa), Brazzaville, Congo (for Central Africa) and Harare (for Southern Africa). ARI shares this responsibility and collaborates in the planning of the Decade with the non-governmental Pan African Federation of Disabled Persons (PAFOD), the African Union of the Blind (AFUB) and other regional organizations of persons with disabilities.
Economic and Social Council resolution 2000/10 of 27 July 2000 (operative paragraph 14) encouraged international support for the African Decade of Disabled Persons to promote equalization of opportunities as well as to promote and protect the human rights of persons with disabilities.
From 4-7 February 2002, OAU organized at Addis Ababa, in collaboration with ARI, PAFOD, AFUB and other regional organizations of persons with disabilities, the Pan-African Conference on the Africa Decade of Disabled Persons to consider a "Plan of Action for the Decade". The aim of the Action Plan is to provide guidance to member States and Governments of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) in furthering the goals of full participation, equality and empowerment of people with disabilities in Africa. Throughout the Plan, the terms people with disabilities, disabled persons and disabled people are used interchangeably, reflecting accepted usage in different countries. The draft Plan was adopted by Conference participants on 7 February and transmitted for consideration of the OAU Labour and Social Affairs Commission at its twenty-fifth session, held at Ouagadougou (16-21 April 2002). The Action Plan was formally endorsed by the seventy-sixth ordinary session of the OAU Council of Ministers, held at Durban (28 June - 6 July 2002) by Decision CM/DEC.676 (LXXVI).
The Action Plan calls upon OAU member States and Governments to study the situation of persons with disabilities with a view to formulating measures favouring equalization of opportunities, full participation and their independence in society. Member States and Governments are urged to:
The Action Plan states that the goal and objectives of the African Decade will be implemented by Governments in partnership with organizations of persons with disabilities; international organizations, including the United Nations and its specialized agencies; the African Union and its specialized agencies; social partnerships (organizations of employers and workers) as well as non-governmental organizations and other civil society organizations. The Africa Decade is recognized as a sub-programme of the New Partnership for Africas Development (NEPAD), whose basic goals include promoting accelerated growth and sustainable development and eradication of widespread and severe poverty.
 See, [OAU] Secretary - General report CM/2112 (LXX), adopted by the 23rd session of the Labour and Social Affairs Commission meeting in Algiers, Algeria, 12-13 April 2000, and endorsed by the 72nd session of the OAU Council of Ministers and 36th Assembly of Heads of State and Government, respectively, meeting in Lomé, Togo, 6-8 July 2000 (Decision CM/Dec. 535 (LXXII) Rev.1).
 At its first ordinary session, the Executive Council of the African Union, meeting at Durban (9-10 July 2002), endorsed the "Plan of Action for the African Decade of People with Disabilities" in its regulation no. 7, "African Decade of Disabled Persons" < http://www.au2002.gov.za/docs/summit_council/aureg.pdf >.
 Support for research and drafting of the Plan was assisted in part by a grant from the Voluntary Fund on Disability to the African Rehabilitation Institute. The grant also supported participation by representatives of Africa regional organizations of persons with disabilities at the Conference.
 The United Nations, represented by the United Nations Voluntary Fund on Disability, co-financed the drafting of the Action Plan and participation by representations of Regional African organizations of persons with disabilities at the February 2002 Pan-African Conference; the International Labour Organization, represented by its African Regional Office, assisted the African Rehabilitation Institute organize the Pan-African Conference; and UNESCO and WHO support participants at the Pan-African Conference. In connection with the OMEGA Initiative to promote social and economic integration of persons with disabilities in Africa, the United States Agency for International Development is providing support private voluntary organizations to implement and expand rehabilitation services for civilian victims of war and other people with disabilities in Africa < http://www.vvaf.org/humanitarian/omega.shtml >.
 "The New Partnership for Africas Development (A/57/304, annex)".