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How AFUB started

The Late Ismaila Konate
The late Ismaila Konate

For many years, we had on the African continent, two major organizations: one called Comité Régional Africain de l’Organisation Mondiale pour la Promotion des Aveugles (Africa Regional Committee of the World Organisation for the Promotion of Visually Impaired Persons) and the other Comité de l’Institut International des Aveugles (Committee of the International Institute of the Blind).

When I became President of the Comité Régional Africain de l’Organisation Mondiale in 1976, I expressed the desire to unite all the blind persons on the African continent. For this reason, in 1979, I went to Arusha Tanzania to meet all our Anglophone friends and we agreed on the importance of setting up a continental union. During a seminar organized by the Swedish in Senegal, I presented the same idea to all our francophone friends.

Confident from the two presentations, I went to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa in March 1984 to appeal to the latter to help blind persons in Africa put in place a continental organization.

All the states were made aware of this fact, and in October 1987, ‘Union National des Aveugles de Tunisie’ hosted the constituent Assembly of the Union which was named African Union of the Blind, AFUB in English and Union Africaine des Aveugles, UAFA in French. I then became the first AFUB President during the constituent Assembly in Tunis.

The late Ismaila Konate – Founding Father of AFUB


1987: Constituent Assembly and creation of AFUB
1995: AFUB obtains semi-consulate status in Kenya
1994: Creation of the AFUB Women’s Committee
1996: First Women’s Forum
2001: First issue of the Women’s Voices newsletter is published
2005: Creation of the HIV and AIDS program and start of AVIYEP project
2007: AFUB 20th Anniversary celebrations held at Panafric Hotel in Nairobi
2009: Start of the Pilot Human Rights Project Uganda
2011: Start of the Regional Human Rights Project in Ghana and Namibia
2011: Start of the Capacity building of Spanish and Portuguese speaking member countries
2012: AFUB General Assembly held in Bangkok, Thailand
2014: Start of the Campaign on the Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty
2015: 8th AFUB  General Assembly held jointly with the 6th Africa Forum in Kampala, Uganda


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