The African Disability Alliance (ADA) was initially called the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disability (SADPD). The organisation’s name was changed with effect from 11 April 2014. This completed a few years of planning and consultations which were aimed at having a clearly defined name that is short, concise and not linked to any timeframe. The registration number and original date of registration remain unchanged and the organisation will continue to be a non-profit corporation (NPC) in line with the amended South African Companies Act (2008). ADA’s logos, addresses/ branding, business start date, main and ancillary objectives will reflect the new name but remain the same.


The change was necessitated by the need to communicate the real work/ mandate of the organisation, to shorten the name and de-link it from a ‘decade’ timeframe. There was also a need to adopt a name that communicates the fact that the organisation is an African,  broad-based, continental technical agency that works through alliances and networks using a broad range of policy tools that emanate from the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), Regional Economic Commissions (RECs) and other jurisdictions.


ADA is led and managed by people with disabilities. The General Assembly, Board and staff compliment of ADA are comprised of a diverse range of disabilities, nationalities, religion and other factors. The organisation’s membership (refer to Appendix A) is comprised of more than twelve continental disability organisations and networks in Africa. The organisation’s headquarters is now centrally located in Pretoria, having moved from its original location in Cape Town, South Africa. This relocation was partly based on the need to reduce operational/logistical costs and to be as close as possible to government and the diplomatic corps.


The organisation has regional offices in Dakar, Senegal and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These sites were strategically chosen after careful review and in order to provide effective communication, programme infrastructure and logistics. The locations also ensure that the organisation is as close to the AU/key government structures as possible in order to facilitate efficient management of resources, policy work, programming, high-level diplomacy and international relations.


The organisation has successfully used international diplomacy / relations to solve complex problems faced by persons with disabilities in Africa. This approach has been welcomed as an effective strategy to cause commitment to provide resources and implementation of policies and strategies in a manner that benefits persons with disabilities. The organisation has implemented a broad range of demand-led programmes and projects that have placed disability at the centre of planning, implementation and evaluation strategies at both national and Africa continental level. This includes adding value to policy formulation and implementation processes within the African Union (AU) system, Regional Economic Committee (RECs) and African governments.


An African continent where people with disabilities enjoy their human rights.


To be an African knowledge-based organisation that works in partnership with the United Nations and its

organs, African Union (AU), African governments (individually or as regional bodies) (collectively referred

to as ‘duty-bearers’), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and Organisations of Persons with disabilities (OPDs), in and outside Africa, (collectively referred to as ‘rights-holders’) to promote disability rights, inclusive

development and human rights for rights-holders.