Ghana has submitted commitments towards African Disability Protocol – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo

Ghana has already submitted her commitments ahead of the total ratification of the African Disability Protocol by Africa Union (AU) member States, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

He said African countries had to join forces to tackle disability exclusion head-on and deeply with a sense of urgency.

The President disclosed this while addressing participants at the 2022 Global Disability Summit that he co-hosted with the Norwegian Prime Minister, Mr Jonas Gahr Støre, and the International Disability Alliance.

The protocol, when ratified by 15 AU-Member States, would direct Member-States to operationalise it with a legal framework by enacting laws and policies to promote disability rights in their respective countries.

President Akufo-Addo said 82 per cent of Persons with Disability (PWDs) were estimated to be living on less than a dollar a day.

“We need to break the cycle of poverty and bridge the inequality gap to contribute to greater economic growth,” he said.

He noted that would improve equality and social justice and called on all African States to let their humanity manifest in enhancing PWDs access to all forms of human development.

“PWDs must be given ample opportunities in participating, contributing and to benefit from development interventions as it makes more ethical and economic sense.

“This would help to achieve the SDG mantra of leaving no one behind. The SDGs must be prioritized in the cabinet. The PWDs must be given the opportunity to engage actively in the process of defining and finding solution to their needs,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Mr Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, in his submission at the Summit, said disability groups were the most marginalised and the COVID-19 pandemic had spread widely the inequality gap.

“If the SDGs are to be achieved, social and economic development must be achieved, and the economic space must be inviting. We must leave no one behind,” he said.

He expressed optimism that the summit provided a platform for countries to protect the lives of PWDs.

“I am optimistic because given the number of commitments and participants, I feel confident that we can succeed. We must continue to fight against barriers such as stigmatisation, and discrimination and promote equal access to social services and participation,” he added.

Mr Guterres entreated countries to ensure a meaningful engagement of PWDs in all works of life, fight to totally eradicate stigmatisation against PWDs and protect their rights.

Source: GNA

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