By Abdi Ali
Published August 23, 2016
What is life like for the 81 million disabled people in Africa?
That is the subject of the BBC Africa Debate as the world prepares for the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (September 7-18, 2016).
More than 800 African Paralympians will be among the 4350 athletes from 160 countries who will participate in 22 sporting events in which 528 medals will be awarded to the winners. Many people with disabilities across the continent still have to battle stigma and taboos that limit opportunities and restrict their participation in society. There can also be practical challenges such as a lack of access to equipment including wheelchairs, crutches and braille machines that would make their lives easier.
Recorded in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the BBC Africa Debate will ask what more African countries can do for disabled people and how they can be fully included in society.
The discussion will be presented by Hassan Arouni and Asad Ahmad, with a panel, including Sierra Leonean Paralympian, George Wyndam, and a live local audience.
RELATED:Where Amputees Excel in Football
BBC Africa Debate can be heard on the World Service on Friday, August 26, 2016 at 1900GMT and online at bbcafrica.com; listeners from around the continent can also join in with the discussion by using the hashtag #BBCAfricaDebate on social media.
In the week leading up to the debate, Focus on Africa radio will bring further stories of those living with a disability in Africa. Listeners will hear about a Tunisian radio station whose entire staff is made up of people with disabilities; a Nigerian polio survivor forced to beg in traffic; a yoga class in Kenya – taught by a deaf teacher to deaf students; and the story of the man who set up Liberia’s Association of Blind People.
Further content can also found online at BBCAfrica.com, and on the @bbcafrica social media pages.