Africans with disabilities – disabled Africans

Africans with disabilities are estimated to be around 60 to 80 million. The USAID mission provides financial and technical assistance to disabled Africans throughout sub-Saharan Africa – including those disabled Africans who were victims of collateral damage in war and conflict.

Disabled Africans are estimated to be around 10 percent of the general African population, but also as much as 20 percent in poverty stricken areas. These people are mostly excluded from schools and the workplace – creating many more poor people, which has a huge impact on the continent.

School enrollments stand at only 5 to 10 percent. This unfortunately leaves only one option for survival – begging or prostitution.

Disabled Africans become disabled by disease and malnutrition. Other factors are environmental hazards, car accidents, civil wars, natural disasters and industrial accidents(collapsing mines).

Rehabilitation International confirmed the there are 350 to 509 people worldwide the become amputees because of landmines they step on whilst playing, walking and farming.

Factors that contribute to the increase in disabilities in Africa are:


Violence – crime and domestic abuse


Environmental damage

Population growth

Birth defects

Aging population

Injuries at work

Injuries from road accidents

  • South Africa signed and ratified the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007. Meanwhile government commented that:
“South Africa has committed itself to removing all barriers faced by persons with disabilities”
There is a huge need establish South African disability studies literature and promote views of disabled Africans.

The South African Disability Alliance (SADA) is a body that is made up of the twelve national organisations that represent disability in South Africa. They were known as the Federal Council on Disability but are now a body of consensus and voice for disabled Africans.

There are 12 National organisations:

Autism SA

Epilepsy SA

Cheshire Homes

Down Syndrome South Africa









  • Forecast for Africa must include disabled Africans who are a significant amount of the population. Disabled Africans have much potential to take part in growth of their country. South Africa is tops when it comes to disabled Africans being self sufficient and successful though – according to UN body Decade of Person With Disability:
“Africa will be leading the world in numbers of disabled entrepreneurs”