The World Health Organization estimates that 15% of the world’s population has a disability of one form or the other (WHO, 2021). With a population of approximately 1,390,000,000 people on the African continent (Worldometer, n.d.), this translates to 220,000,000 or roughly the entire population of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. Life for Africa’s citizens with disability is not easy. Their needs are rarely taken into consideration in the organisation of everyday life on the continent; buildings are not wheelchair accessible, sign language interpretation is missing in health and educational facilities, as is the provision of Braille services in many institutions. As the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the continent, governments and civil society organisations rallied to provide support of different kinds to large segments of the
population. For the most part, however, these service providers did not make any effort to reach out to the population with disability; they were simply forgotten. In Cameroon, though, SisterSpeak is one organisation that has consistently championed the cause of persons with disability. In this conversation, Akosua K. Darkwah speaks with the founder about her motivations for starting the organisation and the nature of their work during the pandemic.
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