Jun 6, 2024 | News

Malawi delegation is at the 2024 African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Sports for People with Disabilities (SPWD) conference in Gaborone, Botswana. The conference started on June 5 and will end on June 7, 2024.

The conference, held under the theme “Inclusion Revolution,” aims to develop strategies to address current issues affecting People with Disabilities (PWD), with a particular focus on women and girls with disabilities, in the post-COVID-19 era. It also aims to create a revised regional SPWD action plan that will serve as a reference framework for member countries. In addition, the conference will review the five pillars of the regional action plan, which include capacity development, advocacy and partnerships, governance and policy development, long-term athlete and coach development, and resource and sustainability. Furthermore, there will be a review of the Lilongwe declaration to assess the extent to which the stated outcomes were achieved.

According to Agnes Tjongarero, Chairperson of the Council of Ministers for AUSC Region 5, the conference is taking place at a crucial time when it is necessary for the global community and the region to address the key challenges that hinder the full participation of PWD in sports and sustainable     development.

“We are hopeful that this conference will result in the achievement of planned outcomes and produce results that will have a lasting impact on SPWD in the region. Beyond this conference, we aim to see increased equality and inclusion in all aspects of development, including sports for persons with disabilities. Our shared vision should redefine the narrative on SPWD issues, creating a safe and conducive environment that enables everyone to thrive equally in sports and sustainable development,” explained Tjongarero.

Stanley Mutoya, Chief Executive Officer of AUSC Region 5, states that the conference will provide an opportunity for the region to assess the performance of the region and its member countries in relation to the development of SPWD, as agreed upon in Lilongwe.

‘’The discussions will heavily focus on adopting aggressive measures and interventions to enhance programs and activities related to SPWD, with the aim of reaching as many beneficiaries as possible. Participants, including decision-makers, policymakers, scholars, and industry experts, are expected to help chart the way forward in addressing current and emerging issues in SPWD,” explained Mutoya.

The conference is attended by over 60 participants, including representatives from 10 Region 5 member countries, 10 sports commissions/councils, and sports for development organizations. The first Sports for People with Disabilities conference took place in Malawi in 2015.

Part of the Malawi delegation includes Mrs. Ivy Chinagwa Kondowe, Director of Sports Development and Recreation at the Malawi National Council of Sports, Mr Justice Msopera the Deputy Director of sports from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Jamerson Chiutsi, President of Paralympic Malawi and Chairperson of the Region 5 SPWD committee, Mr Jappie Mhango president Malawi Olympics Committee, Mr. George Galanje, Vice President of Paralympics Malawi, and Mrs. Faith Mlauzi, Marketing Officer at the Malawi National Council of Sports. Malawi is playing a critical role in the conference, both in the review process and the development of the 2024 to 2028 SPWD Workplan.