Aug 26

‘There’s no better place in the world to be young, gifted & African’

My name is Edward Ndopu,  I am 25 and currently head Amnesty International’s Youth Engagement Programme for Africa. I moved back to South Africa last year after graduating with High Distinction from Carleton University in Canada.

My doctors told me I wouldn’t live beyond the age of 5 and. I am now 25. I am in a wheelchair, so returning has been difficult in terms of access — meaning, it is far more difficult to get around. I want to help change public policy and urban planning to serve disabled people in Africa.

The reason why I’m back on the continent is because I feel that I have a moral and political obligation to really amplify the voices of young, disabled people across Africa.

My job is to make sure young Africans take social injustice personally and every African has a role in pushing the continent forward.

To be a homecomer one has to be a champion of resilience and Africa cannot possibly rise without Africans rising as well.

There is no better place in the world to be young, gifted and African than here.

Previously, I served as Programmes and Partnerships Associate for Global Minimum Inc, a social innovation enterprise in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative. I have also been a Research Analyst for the World Economic Forum. In recognition of my activism on disability justice, Edward was named in 2012 by the Mail & Guardian publication as one of South Africa’s 200 Most Influential Young People.