Opinion Paper - Special Collection: Disability Unplugged

Challenges and opportunities of centring the African voice in disability research

Lieketseng Y. Ned, Kudakwashe Dube, Leslie Swartz
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a1089 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.1089 | © 2022 Lieketseng Y. Ned, Kudakwashe Dube, Leslie Swartz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 May 2022 | Published: 31 October 2022

About the author(s)

Lieketseng Y. Ned, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Kudakwashe Dube, Africa Disability Alliance, Pretoria, South Africa
Leslie Swartz, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


In 2020, the African Network of Evidence to Action on Disability (also known as AFRINEAD) hosted its 10th conference in Cape Town. This paper synthesises inputs by the three authors as plenary addresses, particularly focusing on the challenges and opportunities of centring African voices in disability research. Our concern in this article is to engage with the question of exclusion as an issue not just in the everyday lives of people with disabilities but also in the world of ideas – the ideational space. We suggest that a reimagined disability study depends on the centring of African experiences, voices and knowledges. This is especially so as there are African concepts that are not rigorously pursued in research. African Renaissance thinking makes allowance not only for critically reflecting on the historical and contemporary constructs of disability but also for fashioning a higher civilisation in which people with disabilities can exist within society as worthy and valued human beings.


disability; AFRINEAD; politics of voice; ideational space; African Renaissance.


Total abstract views: 1647
Total article views: 2873


Crossref Citations

1. Disability unplugged: What really matters to people with disabilities?
Chioma Ohajunwa, Callista Kahonde, Arne H. Eide, Lieketseng Ned
African Journal of Disability  vol: 11  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/ajod.v11i0.1172