Conference Speakers & Guests

Keynote Speakers

photo of Yetneberesh Nigussie Yetneberesh Nigussie: Director for Advocacy and Human Rights at Light for the World

Keynote Speaker, Tuesday, October 8

Yetneberesh Nigussie is a human rights lawyer dedicating her life to the improvement of living conditions of persons regardless of their age, gender, disability etc. Studying law as her first degree, she received her Master’s in Social Work and Executive Master’s in Peace and Security in Africa from Addis Ababa University. Ms. Nigussie co-founded the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD), for which she served as the Executive Director till December 2015.

Yetnebersh served as the chair of the Ethiopian National Association of the Blind Women’s Wing and also served in the Women’s Committee of the African Union of the Blind. She was voted the most influential woman in Africa in the field of welfare (2015-16).

Currently, she is serving as the Director for Advocacy and Human Rights at Light for the World, an international NGO working on disability and Development.


Photo of Dr Praveena Sukhraj-ElyDr Praveena Sukhraj-Ely: Senior State Advocate of the High Court of South Africa

Keynote Speaker, Wednesday, October 9

Dr Praveena Sukhraj-Ely is a Senior State Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. As Directorate of Persons with Disabilities at the National Department of Justice, she is responsible for managing the areas of domestic violence, and persons with disabilities and gender affairs. She is the First Vice President of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) and represents ICEVI on the Board of the Accessible Books Consortium established by WIPO based in Geneva.

She sits as the Chairperson of the Disability Chamber of the National ICT Forum and a Member of the Board of the Christoffel Blinden Mission.


Photo of Kevin CareyKevin Carey: Executive Committee Member of ICEVI and Chair of the World Blind Union Technology Committee

Keynote Speaker, Thursday, October 10

Kevin Carey is a member of the Executive Committee of ICEVI and Chair of the World Blind Union Technology Committee and of the World Braille Council. He is the former Chair of the Royal National Institute of Blind people (RNIB) 2009-2017.

Between 1996-2015 he ran his own IT and eInclusion consultancy, humanITy, focusing on computing, telecommunications, and broadcasting accessibility for disabled people by advising governments and other organizations on policy, strategy and technical solutions to advance accessibility.

From 1994-2000 Carey was the Editor of the British Journal of Visual Impairment (BJVI) and before that, during his employment at SightSavers International he developed educational strategies for visually impaired children in the Caribbean, East, central and Southern Africa and established the first computer-driven braille production system (The Africa Braille Centre, Nairobi) outside the OECD.


Guest Speaker

Photo of Ambassador Thomas Kewsi QaurteyAmbassador Kwesi Quartey of the Africa Union

Ambassador Kwesi Quartey is the Deputy Chairperson of the secretariat arm of the African Union, a 55-member state organization working to create an integrated, prosperous, democratic and peaceful Africa.

Elected in 2017, his strategic focus is centered on ensuring operational functionality across the union’s different offices and agencies and believes strongly that a “numerate and literate” Africa is key to realizing its core mission. He brings to the job extensive diplomatic experience, most recently serving in 2015 as secretary to Former Ghanaian President John Mahama. An honors graduate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana, he also has more than 35 years experience as a lawyer.