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Africa Region

Three girls in white and green on the pitch celebrating and two girls in red.
Special Olympics has more than 30 accredited programs in Africa addressing the needs of people with intellectual disabilities in the areas of sports, health and education. Special Olympics is also working to address the correlation between disability and poverty, a key issue for the continent.

Stories from Africa

Special Olympics Announces New Rosemary Collaboratory Initiative to Help Strengthen Health Systems to Include those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Rosemary Kennedy inspired Eunice Kennedy Shriver to found Special Olympics, and Special Olympics is excited to further honor her memory with the newly launched Rosemary Collaboratory. This initiative aims to accelerate efforts to address inequities that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) face in health systems worldwide—issues that Rosemary Kennedy experienced 60 years ago and still persist today.
2 Min Read

Global Coalition for Inclusion Signed in Ghana and Seychelles

Special Olympics Ghana hosted the first signing in the Special Olympics (SO) Africa Region of the Global Coalition for Inclusion with the Republic of Ghana on 27 November 2023.
2 Min Read

Schools Should Boost Inclusion of Students With Disabilities, Special Olympics Leader Says

The following is an excerpt from Education Week’s article, Schools Should Boost Inclusion of Students With Disabilities, Special Olympics Leader Says.
1 Min Read

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Africa Programs
  • Bénin Special Olympics Benin provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level--right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Botswana Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Burkina Faso Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Burundi Special Olympics Burundi provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Cameroon Special Olympics Cameroon provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.
  • Cape Verde Special Olympics Cape Verde provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Chad Special Olympics Chad provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Côte d'Ivoire Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It's at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.

    Download the Special Olympics Côte d'Ivoire Fact Sheet
  • Democratic Republic of Congo Special Olympics Democratic Republic of Congo provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Equatorial Guinea Special Olympics Equatorial Guinea provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Eswatini Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Ethiopia Special Olympics Ethiopia provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • The Gambia Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.
  • Ghana Special Olympics is a global organization that serves more than 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Guinea Special Olympics Guinea provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Guinea Bissau Special Olympics Guinea Bissau provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Kenya Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Lesotho Special Olympics Lesotho provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Liberia Special Olympics Liberia provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.

    Download the Special Olympics Liberia Fact Sheet
  • Madagascar Special Olympics Madagascar provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Malawi Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Mali Special Olympics is a global organization that serves more than 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Mauritius Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Mozambique Special Olympics Mozambique provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet. It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship. Fact Sheet coming soon.
  • Namibia Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Niger Special Olympics Niger provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Nigeria Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Congo Special Olympics Congo provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Rwanda Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches. Since 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with Special Olympics has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Sénégal Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Seychelles Special Olympics is a global organization with that serves with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches. Since 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with Special Olympics has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Somalia Special Olympics Cameroon provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.
  • South Africa Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • South Sudan Special Olympics South Sudan provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Tanzania Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Togo Special Olympics is a global organization that serves more than 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Uganda Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Zambia Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Zimbabwe Special Olympics is a global organization that serves more than 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.
Two football players going after the ball on the football field.

Africa Region Resources

The Special Olympics Africa Resources page is a self-service area where you can get tools, files and information that pertain to Africa region.