“Reflecting on 30 years of Disability Advocacy & Activism in Southern Africa”

Background & Overview

The Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) was formed in 1986 by persons with disabilities as a federation of Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs) with a strong presence in 10 countries.

Last year, 2016, SAFOD clocked 30 years of its existence. SAFOD's 30th anniversary coincided with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which have replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs).

The 30th anniversary came at a time when the organization had just been re-launched (i.e. new strategic plan, review of mission, vision, logo, etc.) after years of quiescence. 2016 is therefore one of the very significant and symbolic years in the history of SAFOD.

SAFOD must, therefore, create a stakeholders’ forum to reflect and evaluate the work of SAFOD and the disability movement in general over the past three decades as well as define its future direction.

Who will Participate?

1) SAFOD Affiliates
National Federation of DPOs who are members of SAFOD will be participating on the forum, from all the ten countries as follows: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

2) International Development Partners
We recognize that one of the most strategic ways on ensuring that the work of SAFOD and the entire disability sector in Southern Africa is sustained is to closely work with donors who support or have potential to support various programs. We can have beautiful ideas, innovative strategies, etc., but if the international donor partners are not well appraised of these plans, ideas or interventions, most of our programs will not be sustained.

3) Governments
This event will not be complete without the participation of governments in the region. Government representatives can provide insights during the forum regarding some of the goof practices on social inclusion of persons with disabilities in their respective development agendas, and how they interact with other stakeholders, including DPOs.

4) Disability Researchers & Academicians
They will be asked to make presentations which reflect the disability mainstreaming journey over the past 30 years. SAFOD will, however, mainly target only academics/researchers that have worked with SAFOD before on specific projects so as to provide a comprehensive historical perspectives.

5) Key Founders of SAFOD
SAFOD will also invite some of its key founding members to provide the historical perspective of both the organization in particular and the disability sector in general.

6) Private Sector
The private sector can play a very important role in the whole process of disability mainstreaming both as an employer as well as advocates. What is important is not just companies donating funds and/or other materials from a charity perspective in the name social responsibility, but rather the companies themselves holistically participating in the whole process of disability mainstreaming within their respective workplaces. SAFOD will develop a list of companies in South Africa that have a regional or continental outreach so that they can be invited to participate in the forum.

What will the Roundtable Forum seek to achieve?

1. To appreciate the achievements/milestones during the 30-year period, the challenges which have been experienced and how delegates, especially development partners, can effectively support both SAFOD and the entire disability sector in sustaining the gains that have been made so far.

2. The Roundtable Forum will contribute towards shaping the strategic direction of not only SAFOD but the entire disability movement in the region, with a reflection on both organization’s new five-year Strategic plan as well as the SDGs.

3. The forum will raise awareness about disability mainstreaming among donor agencies and other key partners and discuss how they can effectively integrate disability within their various programs in the region.


How to Partner with Us?

1. SAFOD will be open to proposals for partnerships with other institutions that may be willing to either co-host the event, or simply provide some support towards the hosting of the event (without necessarily co-hosting). Institutions may be academia (universities), the line ministry/department dealing with disabilities in the hosting country, a donor agency, or any institution that works to promote disability rights and/or inclusive development, or subscribes to the vision of SAFOD.

2. Partnerships may be in the form of financial contribution towards the cost of organizing the event, human resource contribution (including volunteers), technical support and advice (e.g. review of papers, protocol, etc.) and other logistical support such as publicizing the event.

3. The event may continue to be held triennially (once every three years) so as to track the progress being made in the field of disability and inclusive development in the Southern Africa. We believe that this forum will be able to unearth critical issues and recommendations affecting the disability sector in the face the SDGs and Continental Plan of Action so that the disability sector is not left behind this time around. SAFOD is therefore open to such longer-term partnerships with like-minded institutions.

If you are interested to partner with SAFOD, email info@disabilityroundtable.org, and copy mchiwaula@safod.net with the subject line "Partnerships".



Mrs. Rachel Kachaje, (Confirmed)

SAFOD Chairperson, ADF Secretary, & DPI President, Malawi


Mr. Joshua Malinga, (Confirmed)

SOFOD Founding Disability Activist & Lecturer at Midlands State University, Zimbabwe


Mr. Wamundila Waliuya, (Confirmed)

President at Disability Rights Watch, & Commissioner at HRC, Zambia


Prof. Leslie Swartz, (Confirmed)

Editor, African Journal of Disability, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Mr. Daisuke Sagiya, (Confirmed)

Chief Advisor, Department of Social Development (DSD) / JICA South Africa


Mr. Toshio Murakami, (Confirmed)

Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA South Africa)


Dr. Alister Munthali, (Confirmed)

 Associate Professor of Research, University of Malawi, Chancellor College


Prof. Arne Henning Eide, (Confirmed)

Research Manager, SINTEF Technology and Society, Norway


Ms. Rebecca Matter, (Confirmed)

PhD Candidate, School of Public Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Ms. Hanne E.

Advisor, Funksjonshemmedes Fellesorganisasjon (FFO), Norway


Mr. Kudakwashe

Chief Executive Officer, Africa Disability Alliance (ADA),
South Africa


Mr. Shuaib Chalklen, (Confirmed)

Chairperson, African Disability Forum (ADF),


Mr. Franck Kamunga, (Confirmed)

Team Leader: Access to Justice & Human Rights, OSISA, South Africa


Mr. Mark
Malema, (Confirmed)

Technical Adviser, Policy & Financing Reforms, Ministry of Health, Malawi


Mr. Berhanu Tefera, (Confirmed)

ADF Coordinator, African Disability Forum (ADF), Ethiopia


Ms. Nyameka Mqikela, (Confirmed)

Founder & Managing Member, Nyameka & Associates, South Africa


Day 1

Registration/All Delegates Seated

Guest of Honor tours exhibition pavilions

Guest of Honour To be Confirmed

Welcoming remarks

Mrs. Rachel Kachaje Chairperson - SAFOD

Remarks on the objectives of the Forum

Mr. Mussa Chiwaula Director General – SAFOD

Keynote Address

Mr. Robert Masambo - National Chairperson of the Disabled Peoples South Africa (DPSA)

Opening Speech

Guest of Honor To be Confirmed

Keynote Address

Donor Representative

Keynote Address

Shuaib Chalklen, Chairperson, Africa Disability Forum (ADF)

Plenary session

Lunch Break

Session 2: Tracking the work of the SAFOD affiliates over the past 30 years of disability activism

Affiliates Representatives 10 presentations, 15 minutes each

Session 2: Plenary


Day 2

Session 3: Tracking the Disability Movement in Southern Africa; 30 years of activism

Presentations from SAFOD's founders, partners, researchers, scholars

Session 3: Plenary

Session 4: Tracking & Assessing Development Frameworks & Plans for or Affecting Disability

Presentations from partners, researchers, scholars

Session 4: Plenary

Lunch Break

Session 5: Tracking the Financing Mechanisms of Disability Work in Southern Africa over the past three decades

Presentations from donors, partners, researchers

Session 5: Plenary

Delegates are expected to make specific recommendations for strengthening current financing mechanisms e.g. monitoring and tracking of impact, roles of donors/recipients, etc

Day 3

Session 6: Tracking & assessing the involvement & role of the private sector and trade unions over the past 30 years

Session 6: Plenary

Session 7: Creating Early Childhood Inclusive Environments and/or Practices

Presentations of key lessons/best practices from the two projects implemented by SAFOD and Uhambo Foundation

Session 7: Plenary

Session 8: Disability Development Research

Representations on best practices on inclusive (disability) development research

Session 8: Plenary

Day 4

Session 9: Raising a Case for the SADC Disability Protocol

 Presentation of the key findings of the “Review of SADC Protocols and Other Key Relevant SADC Documents to Assess the Extent to which they are Inclusive of Disability Rights.” and the Draft SADC Disability Protocol

Session 9: Plenary

Discussion on the Draft Concept on the Regional Advocacy Platform on the Campaign for the SADC Protocol

(Delegates to discuss and agree the proposed operational structure, membership criteria, Terms of reference for the members (volunteers), action plan with targets/deliverables, including resource mobilization, etc.)

Session 10: Panel Debate

Enhancing the role of SAFOD, the entire disability sector, donors and private sector towards achieving sustainable and inclusive development in the region

Session 10: Panel Debate

Enhancing the role of SAFOD, the entire disability sector, donors and private sector towards achieving sustainable and inclusive development in the region

Session 10: Plenary

Adoption of the Regional Advocacy Platform on the Campaign for the SADC Protocol

Session 11: Closing ceremony

closing remarks/speeches

Lunch & end Program


Download full agenda/program here!


Become one of our partners by expressing interest to host a side event at this maiden Regional Disability Round Table Forum .

Why Host Side Events?

  • Take advantage of the delegates attending the main forum to reach out to them with your disability-related agenda or program.
  • Save the expenses and/or any related inconvenience of organizing a similar event elsewhere that will involve bringing delegates to one place.
  • This is a perfect opportunity to network and build partnerships with various stakeholders attending the Disability Round Table Forum.


  • All that our existing or potential partners need to do is to contact SAFOD Secretariat and send an Express Interest (EOI) to host one of the side events, stating the nature of the event they want to host, and the key issues or agenda they want to raise during the event.
  • EOIs may either be sent by email or submitted online. Once an EOI has been received by the SAFOD Secretariat, it will be forwarded to the Steering Committee for further review and selection.


  • With an administrative contribution of US$1,600, you will be helping SAFOD to meet all expenses related to the promotion or marketing of the side events within SAFOD network; allowances for the volunteers during the entire Forum; meals and transport for Steering Committee members who will be reviewing and selecting the side events, just to mention a few.


Participants must first submit the online registration form below in order to participate in the forum. Registration will only be processed/accepted after an administrative contribution of US$300 has been paid to SAFOD Secretariat through swift transfer to our bank account, or through credit card online payment here. Information about our bank account can be found heret is .


Whichever way you opt to pay, please remember to email us a notification afterwards so that we cross-check your name against or records.

Please register below:


The Holiday Inn Johannesburg Airport, located just ten minutes from OR Tambo International Airport, is easily accessible making it a superb choice for conference. Most importantly, the main conference room can take up to 150 delegates, with additional breakaway rooms for smaller groups during the forum. Wireless Internet is available in rooms, business center, public areas and meeting Spaces. Complimentary Airport Shuttle Service is available to and from O.R. Tambo International Airport, and complimentary daily self-parking is also available.



Don't miss the event!