The Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network(EDAN) Africa Region is coordinated by Rev. Abraham Berinyuu who is a professor of Practical Theology at the University of Development Studies in Ghana. He is assisted by Rev. Micheline Kamba, a Presbyterian Church woman Minister and a scholar from the Democratic Republic of Congo who is the Liason Coordinator for French speaking regions of Africa.
The Africa Region is the official host of EDAN and the background to this is necessary. The need to work closely with the All Africa Conference of Churches(AACC) was identified during the World Council of Churches(WCC) week of staff meetings in Ecumenical House, Geneva between May 5 and Friday 9, 2003. It was generally felt that though EDAN had so far done well operating under the auspices of the National Council of Churches of Kenya while the Consultant who later became the Executive Secretary doubled up as a senior staff there, his taking up of EDAN as a full time responsibility needed to correspondingly bring about a wider visibility of this work. It was felt that one step towards achieving this would be through working under the auspices of a regional body as this would offer greater interaction with other international ecumenical organizations.
Another consideration was the implementation of the Africa Decade for persons with disabilities which required a continental approach, participation in the WCC Ecumenical Focus on Africa Programme and the involvement in the wider WCC Decade to Overcome Violence. The Consultant was requested to initiate discussions with AACC in respect to this recommended move. A meeting was arranged with the entire AACC staff and it was in that meeting that the proposal for the AACC to be the official host of the programme was initiated.
From June 2004, the World Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of Churches have worked jointly on EDAN. EDAN offices are therefore at the AACC headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. EDAN work is carried out at both Regional and International levels. At the Regional level, EDAN liaises to the AACC General Secretary through the established structures and in accordance with the practice and regulations of AACC. At the start of this cooperation, the programme closely worked with the then Social, Economic Justice and Women Programme but also endeavored to have disability concerns integrated in all other programmes. Currently, the liaison is through Peace, Healing and Reconciliation Programme but still works closely with all other programmes.
The current operation of EDAN in respect to the work in Africa Region is based on the recommendations to the AACC on the 9th General Assembly in Maputo, Mozambique 7th -12th December 2008.
These were issued as a statement which read:
We, people with disabilities gathered in Maputo as workshop participants and resource persons at the 9th General Assembly of the All Africa Conference of Churches(AACC) having met on the 10th December, appreciating the invitation to participate in the assembly;noting that the AACC host the EDAN International Office and being further aware of the understanding between AACC and WCC that EDAN shall among other things be part of the AACC programmatic work in as far as disability issues in Africa are concerned have hereby resolved to recommend to the 9th General Assembly as follows:
1. That EDAN be given an opportunity to serve in the General Committee in order to ensure the inclusion of disability issues in all AACC planning processes.
2. AACC to encourage churches to nominate persons with disabilities as full delegates in future assemblies.
3.That EDAN work in Africa is incorporated into AACC strategic plan and programmes.
4. AACC to facilitate a study on the Disability Situational Analysis in the Church to identify the status of Disability in the Church , and the barriers that hinder the participation of people with disabilities in the Church life.
5. AACC facilitates participation and therefore visibility of the work of EDAN among the member Churches, national and regional ecumenical organizations affiliated to it.
6. That AACC continues and intensifies its efforts in working with WCC through EDAN in addressing disability advocacy within and outside Africa in such areas as:
a. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other Human Rights work.
b. Promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in HIV/AIDS initiatives
c. Theological reflections and disability discourse in churches and Theological Institutions
d. The participation of persons with disabilities in Peace Building work and overcoming violence, particularly gender based violence
e. Poverty Eradication Initiatives and Environmental Issues.