SAATE: Southern Africa AT EXPO 2020

About The SAATE 2022

About The SAATE 2022

The Assistive Technology EXPO (SAATE) is part of the Assistive Technology Information Mapping Project (AT-Info-Map), a project of the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) in partnership with the University of Washington and the African Network for Evidence–to–Action in Disability (AfriNEAD), established to map the current availability of different types of AT in ten countries in Southern Africa using a mobile application and web-based database. The project works with local disability organizations to address gaps in AT availability. Attainment of most human rights affecting persons with disabilities may not be achieved without high-quality affordable assistive products and/or information thereof globally. At the international level, SAFOD is also working with Loughborough University and Aston University. If you are an organization that is actively working in the disability or AT sector at the international level and you believe you have something unique you can contribute towards the organization of this event, please do not hesitate to contact SAFOD.

Locally, we're working with the Government of Namibia through the Disability Affairs Department to co-host this ground-breaking regional event. To ensure the smooth running of the event activities locally, a Local Organizing Committee consisting of not only the Government Department but also various stakeholders meets from time to time to plan day-to-day tasks. SAFOD works with its national affiliate in Namibia, the National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia (NFPDN) which coordinates and brings together these local partners. The National Disability Council of Namibia (NDCN) is another strategic partner that closely works with both NFPDN and the Disability Affairs Department. As of August 2019, the International University of Management (IUM) which is a private, state-recognized university, officially joined the list of local partners. If you are an organization based in Namibia actively working in the disability or AT sector and you are interested to join the local partners, please do not hesitate to write NFPDN here:

The SAATE becomes one of the important components of the AT-Info-Map project seeking to bring together a wide range of practical problem solvers of AT, AT suppliers, and service providers from Southern Africa. The event will also aim to facilitate improvements in the AT sector broadly through raising awareness about the need for better AT solutions and/or products.

The SAATE will bring together a wide range of practical problem solvers of AT, including manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers from Southern Africa with the overall goal of increasing awareness of different types of AT and where they are available. The SAATE will be held in a series, in different locations (countries).

The first SAATE event will be held in Windhoek, Namibia, from 26 to 30 September 2021 (or it may be held virtually if the Covid-19 situation doesn't improve by then). The SAATE 2022 will be preceded by a series of small-scale webinars that are acting as curtain-raisers to the main event in 2022. The first webinar has been scheduled for 28-29 September 2021. More information about the first webinar is published on its dedicated website here.

However, submission of expression of interest to exhibit AT products for the SAATE 2022 is underway and can be done through an online registration form here. Those who want to present papers or facilitate a workshop, a roundtable, a lecture, or other events can also submit abstracts online here.

The following are the specific objectives;

  1. To showcase different types of AT by AT manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, and other related stakeholders;
  2. To facilitate improvements in the AT sector broadly through raising awareness about the need for better AT solutions and/or products;
  3. To become a platform on which different stakeholders - including Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs) – can explore best AT product delivery models for southern Africa;
  4. Reflect on the roles of international NGOs and development actors;
  5. Examine policy and regulations to increase access to appropriate AT, including financing mechanisms; and
  6. Lastly, but not least, advance local innovations of appropriate AT solutions, products, and services

In order to ensure that the SAATE events achieve both the overall goal and the ensuing specific objectives, it is therefore in this context why the events are targeting stakeholders beyond just AT manufacturers and suppliers. Other stakeholders to be involved will include:

  • Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs)
  • Persons with disabilities or parents of PWDs who are looking to learn more about AT products?
  • International Non-governmental organizations that are engaged in AT provision
  • Other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)
  • Key governments officials involved in AT procurement and provision
  • Representatives from professional associations (e.g., OT, PT, P & O)
  • Academic and industry researchers
  • The Media