- September 15, 2023

From September 13-21, 2023, the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the African Disability Forum (ADF), and Forum das Associações Moçambicanas de Pessoas com Deficiência (FAMOD) are organizing the Bridge CRPD-SDGs African Portuguese Speaking Countries Module 2. Hosted in Maputo, Mozambique, this Bridge CRPD-SDGs cycle is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Sightsavers International. The Bridge CRPD-SDGs Module 1 training took place in Maputo, Mozambique in November 2022, following which participants have been working on policy papers under the mentorship of facilitators. 

Day 1 of this Bridge CRPD-SDGs module began with participants attending the second edition of the Annual Conference on Disability and Human Rights, organized by FAMOD and supported by IDA among other organisations. IDA’s support to this Conference is with the aim of fostering collaboration among regional OPDs and enabling meaningful exchange among regional OPDs. The harmonization of these two events has convened participants from Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, in Mozambique, reflecting IDA and ADF's commitment to bringing together Portuguese-speaking nations in learning and reflection around public policies, which is the focus for Module 2.   

This additional exposure that Bridge CRPD-SDGs Module 2 participants are gaining offers opportunities for OPDs to strengthen existing rapport with partners, and also offer avenues to expand the horizons of ongoing partnerships. To enhance advocacy efforts and ensure the meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in CRPD implementation, it is crucial to establish a well-coordinated and cohesive approach. IDA is in a unique position to design and implement this approach through its convening power.  

Five facilitators posing infront the banner for the Bridge training

Leading the facilitation team of this Bridge CRPD-SDGs module is a dynamic and diverse team comprising of alumni of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs training, Bridge CRPD-SDGs ToT and other training initiatives of IDA like ToTAL. Facilitators bring rich experience from Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Tunisia, Brazil, and Peru. They offer a rich global perspective and a wealth of experience spanning Africa, MENA, and Latin America.  

Cantol Pondja, President of FAMOD, shared his views on the impact of making the Annual Conference on Disability and Human Rights regional. In his words, “Transforming the Annual Conference on Disability and Human Rights into a regional event by partnership with IDA had a highly positive impact, both for Mozambique and FAMOD as a whole. It facilitated the exchange of experiences among different countries on matters related to disability and inclusion, discussions on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, the advocacy efforts of OPDs, and the actions needed to promote inclusion at various levels. 

Cantol also viewed that the two events, the Conference and Bridge CRPD-SDGs, had similar goals in mind. “The FAMOD conference and Bridge CRPD-SDGs training complement each other, working in tandem to strengthening the OPD movement. They play a vital role in influencing decision-makers and other stakeholders, garnering their support for the inclusion of persons with disabilities. 

Cantol was also very optimistic about the impact of starting this Module with impactful discussions on regional priorities upon the participants, who hail from OPDs from Lusophone countries in the region. “There are several valuable opportunities for OPDs from Portuguese-speaking African countries in attendance today to enhance their understanding and capabilities. Firstly, they have the chance to delve deeper into their understanding of the CRPD and its alignment with the SDGs, providing them with a comprehensive framework for advocating disability rights and inclusion. Secondly, this platform offers valuable insights into effective strategies for engaging and motivating persons with disabilities within their respective countries, fostering active participation. Additionally, they can learn how to leverage the CRPD as a powerful instrument to monitor the implementation of the SDGs, ensuring that the rights of persons with disabilities remain a priority on the development agenda”.  

Cantol also reflected on the skills and partnerships that were potentially developed through this exercise, and the opportunity for peer learning. “The training will equip participants with the necessary skills to advocate successfully with their governments, thus catalyzing the implementation of disability policies. In addition, this collaborative setting encourages the discovery of innovative ways to create synergies with other organizations, enabling a more cohesive and impactful approach to advancing inclusivity and equality across the region. 

1. Agenda in English and Portuguese 
2. List of participants in Word and PDF