Africa Forum Final Communique

7th Africa Forum On Visual Impairment
Intercontinental Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
7th – 11th October 2019.


We, the participants to the 7th Africa Forum On Visual Impairment held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from the 7th to the 11th October 2019 with the theme "Achieving the SDGs through Innovation, Access and Lifelong Learning"

recalling the rights of persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life and to access, on an equal basis with others, the physical environment, transportation, information and other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas;

affirming the right of persons with disabilities to education without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity;

stressing the importance of innovation and new technologies in creating an enabling environment for inclusive and sustainable development;

recognizing lifelong learning as a right and a catalyst for personal development, productivity and empowerment;

recognizing, on this international Day of the Girl, the resilience and power of girls and women with visual impairments, as they overcome double discrimination.

Call upon all African Governments to

ratify the Africa Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human and people’s rights by all persons with disabilities, and to ensure respect for their inherent dignity;

ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled;

commit to the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Africa Union Agenda 2063 and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and

commit to reporting on measures taken and progress made towards the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

commit to creation of favorable regulations that increase access to assistive technology by persons with disabilities to support inclusive education, inclusive jobs and personal development

And wish to

express our sincere appreciation to the Africa Union Commission, the Government of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian National Association of the Blind and the Africa Forum Council for making the 7th Africa Forum on Visual Impairment a great success.


Addis Ababa, 11th October 2019.