Group Picture during the meeting Addis Declaration

Persons with psychosocial disabilities and organizations from 5 countries in East Africa region met in Addis Ababa on July 26, 2022 at the East Africa Subregional Convening, organized by Transforming Communities for Inclusion – Global in partnership with CIC-Kenya, TRIUMPH, RDDF and UNSAI, and developed the “Addis Declaration”, through a consultative process, over 2 days.

The deliberations included participants coming together, discussing the key priority areas to be addressed by the governments in East Africa, call for actions and worked together for the drafting of the ‘Addis Declaration’. The report of the convening can be found here.

There were intensive discussions among the participants on the barriers they faced with respect to their identity, incapacitating laws, lack of social protection mechanisms, community supports for independent living, housing, barriers to work and employment, political participation etc. These deliberations were led by TCI members from East Africa and hence highlighted their situation and demands from the various stakeholders.

A mutually derived and approved list of barriers and recommendations was then officially adopted by the present plenary members and named ‘Addis Declaration’. It was named so for a multitude of reasons:

  1. TCI member from Ethiopia explained that ‘Addis Ababa’ meant a ‘new flower’ and this Declaration could be the new starting point/chapter for the movement in East Africa;
  2. The Headquarter of Africa Union is based in Addis Ababa and hence lends more authority to the document and
  3. Like Bali Declaration was adopted in Bali and titled so as it became symbolic of coming together of the South East Asian movements. Similarly, Addis was marked as the uniting point of movements from various parts of East Africa.

The Declaration strongly resonated with persons with psychosocial disabilities from Tanzania and was adopted by them in September 2023.