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AU Disability Protocol tailored to meet African needs

The need to address disability within a dedicated framework of legal, programmatic, and institutional provisions, is necessitated by the reality regarding the prevalence of disabilities on the African continent and the commitments African Union Member States have made in the area of disability.

This was echoed by African Union Commission Senior Social Welfare Officer, Lefhoko Kesamang when presenting the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa.

The protocol defines persons with disabilities as; “Persons with disabilities” include those who have physical, mental, psycho-social, intellectual, neurological, developmental or other sensory impairments which in interaction with environmental, attitudinal or other barriers hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

Kesamang went on to highlight that, disability is a development issue because of the bi-directional link to poverty: disability may increase the risk of poverty and poverty may increase the risk of disability.  He emphasized that “people with disabilities and their families are more likely to experience economic and social disadvantage and harmful practices than those without disability.”

He also revealed that the institutional component of the AUDA is being finalised and responsibilities of each stakeholder participating in the implementation of the AUDSF and mainstreaming of disability in development is being refined.

It has been highlighted that the AU Disability Protocol, the legal component of the African Union Disability Architecture (AUDA) is the AU Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

According to Kesamang, “the Protocol is necessitated by the fact that by and large African human rights instruments fall short of the minimum standards established by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Protocol would provide an opportunity to tailor significant provisions which are applicable to Africa.”

The protocol contains 44 articles. With article three speaking to the interpretation and application of its general principles. Key among them being, “ensuring respect for and protection of the inherent dignity, privacy, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons.”

Article 4 subsection 2 (c) on the other hand states that parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to explicitly protect the parents, children, spouses, other family members closely related to the persons with disabilities, caregivers, or intermediaries of persons with disabilities from discrimination based on their association with persons with disabilities.

The document also calls for the criminalization of ritual killings. In this case ritual killings means the killing of persons motivated by cultural, religious, or superstitious beliefs that the use of a body or a body part has medicinal value, possesses supernatural powers and brings good luck, prosperity and protection to the killer.

For the protocol to be a success, Kesamang explained that State Parties shall; disaggregate statistics and data, as appropriate, on the basis of disability, gender, age and other relevant variables, including by ensuring that national population census and other survey captures data on disability; Disseminate statistics and data in forms accessible to all persons including persons with disabilities.

Still on the matter of data, he said “it should be ensured that the collection, analysis, storage and dissemination of statistics and data on persons with disabilities comply with acceptable ethical, confidentiality and privacy standards as well as to ensure effective involvement and participation of Persons with Disabilities in the design, collection and dissemination of data.

Kesamang also recommended for the domestication, implementation, reporting, and evaluation of AU Disability Policies and Frameworks as well as AU Disability Treaties and Legal Instruments.


DJ Bafana’s one man show on the cards

21st February 2024

DJ Bafana, a talented DJ from Francistown, is gearing up to host his very own one-man show, a groundbreaking event that aims to not only showcase his skills but also empower fellow musicians. This ambitious project is currently in the planning stages, with DJ Bafana actively seeking out potential sponsors to help bring his vision to life.

In a recent interview with WeekendPost, DJ Bafana revealed that he is in talks with two potential venues, Limpopo Gardens and Molapo Leisure Gardens, to host his show. However, he is facing challenges in securing sponsorships from companies, particularly those who do not fully understand the importance of music-related events. Despite this setback, DJ Bafana remains determined to make his one-man show a reality and to use it as a platform to empower and support other artists in the industry.

What sets DJ Bafana’s show apart is the fact that he will be making history as the first person living with a disability to host a one-man show in Botswana. This milestone is a testament to his resilience and determination to break barriers and pave the way for others in similar situations. By showcasing his talent and passion for music, DJ Bafana is not only proving his worth as an artist but also inspiring others to pursue their dreams, regardless of any obstacles they may face.

As DJ Bafana continues to work towards making his one-man show a reality, he remains focused on his goal of empowering and uplifting his fellow musicians. Through his dedication and perseverance, he is setting an example for others to follow and showing that anything is possible with hard work and determination. The date for the show is yet to be announced, but one thing is for certain – DJ Bafana’s one-man show is sure to be a memorable and inspiring event for all who attend.


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Lady of Soul remains tenacious as ever

21st February 2024

Radio Personality Tebogo Sekgoma affectionately known as Lady of Soul is determined to keep pursuing her ambitions vigorously, in spite of hurdles and stumbling blocks.

In an exclusive interview with this publication, Sekgoma divulged that she is working on her memoir. Although she won’t reveal much, the broadcast veteran said she will essentially be telling the story of her life.

The former Sunday Live host is also serving as a board member (Secretary General) at Botswana Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted (BABPS). She is actively involved in advocating for the rights of the visually impaired, a hiccup she refused to succumb to.


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Inside the new disability Law

21st February 2024

The new Disability Law in Botswana is a significant step towards ensuring the rights and inclusion of persons living with disabilities in the country. This act, which was passed into law on the 11th of December 2023, is a reflection of Botswana’s commitment to upholding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

One of the key provisions of the act is the prohibition of discrimination against persons with disabilities in work-related matters. This means that employers will no longer be able to discriminate against individuals based on their disability when it comes to hiring, promotion, or any other aspect of employment. This is a crucial step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

The act also establishes a National Disability Council, which will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the act and ensuring that the rights of persons with disabilities are protected. This council will play a vital role in advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities and ensuring that they have equal access to opportunities in all areas of life.

In addition to prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, the act also sets out disability standards that must be adhered to by employers and other entities. These standards are designed to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access the same opportunities and services as everyone else, without facing any barriers or discrimination.

Furthermore, the act provides for actions plans to be developed to address the needs of persons with disabilities, as well as administrative penalties and fines for those who fail to comply with the provisions of the act. This sends a clear message that discrimination against persons with disabilities will not be tolerated in Botswana.

Overall, the new Disability Law in Botswana is a positive step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all. By prohibiting discrimination in the workplace and setting out clear standards for the treatment of persons with disabilities, this act will help to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their abilities, have the opportunity to fully participate in society.


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