By Waliat Musa
As the world commemorates the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities today, Project Enable Africa has announced the nominees for the 2022 Disability Inclusion and Leadership (DIAL) Awards.
Project Enable Africa is an initiative of Stanforte Edge Ltd/Gte that promotes the rights, empowerment and social inclusion of persons with disabilities in Nigeria with various stakeholders across the private, public and civil society sectors to advocate for disability rights and promote the access to persons with disabilities to services and economic opportunities in the formal and informal sectors across Nigeria.
According to World Bank, about 15% of the global population lives with a disability, with Nigeria home to over 25 million persons with disabilities, the community is reported to be the most marginalized.
The year’s theme is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.”
Proclaimed in 1992, the United Nations General Assembly resolution established the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 47/3 to celebrate the achievements of persons with disabilities across all spheres of society and bring to the limelight the challenges faced by this community. The day also demands that society plays its role in accelerating the eradication of barriers to social inclusion, equity, participation and citizenship towards their rights and well-being.
Executive Director, of Project Enable Africa, Olusola Owonikoko noted that In line with the Sustainable Agenda, the Disability Inclusion And Leadership (DIAL) Awards was founded by Project Enable Africa in 2019 to recognize individuals and organisations championing disability inclusion across sectors in Nigeria.
“This year, we are pleased to formally announce the nominees for the 2022 DIAL Awards. These individuals and organisations were nominated by the public and moderated by an independent volunteer jury. The 2022 DIAL Awards is supported by Access Bank Plc and HACEY Health Initiative, the partners of the initiative since its inception in 2019.” he added
Speaking on the awards, the Project Manager of the 2022 DIAL Awards, Ademibolanle Ajijala noted that the DIAL Awards is a notable platform that brings together key stakeholders of the community of persons with disabilities across Nigeria together every year to celebrate progress, foster partnership and mobilises resources to address the issues facing the community in Nigeria.
” Certainly, we have made appreciable progress with disability inclusion in Nigeria, but we still have a long way to go to achieve a truly disability society, especially in public policies and institutions, and the DIAL Awards has created a unique opportunity for us all to come together to towards ensuring that no one is left behind”. She said
Some of the nominees of the 2022 DIAL Awards include Jake Epelle, Executive Director of the Albino Foundation; Eucharia Njideka Iyiazi, a gold medalist who set a new world record in the 2022 Commonwealth games; Ejiro Sharon Okotie, the founder of Hope Inspired Foundation; Oluwadamilare Ogundairo, the General Manager of the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA); Tobiloba Ajayi, the founder of The Let Cerebral Palsy Kids Learn Foundation; and James Lalu, the Executive Secretary National Commission for Persons with Disabilities. The Ishk Tolaram Foundation, Stanbic IBTC, and Sheraton Hotel, and the Lagos Business School are some of the organisations nominated in the corporate categories. The full list of all nominees and award categories can be found at www.dialawards.africa.
The winners of each award category will be announced at the DIAL Awards lunch event scheduled for Thursday, December 8, 2022, at Access Bank Plc. Special appreciation to our partners for the 2022 DIAL Awards, Access Bank Plc., and HACEY Health Initiative.