Eddie Ndopu (born 1990) is a South African disability rights advocate. He is one of seventeen global advocates appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ndopu pictured in Davos, 2020

Eddie Ndopu
Edward Ndopu

(1990-11-29)29 November 1990
Namibia (Age 31)

Known for
  • Humanitarian Advocacy
  • Human Rights Activism
  • Disability Justice Advocacy

Background edit

Eddie Ndopu was born in Namibia in 1990, after his single mother had fled apartheid South Africa by going into self-imposed exile.[1][2] At the age of two Ndopu was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative disease that affects the nervous system, and was given until the age of five to live.[3] When he was aged nine, he moved to Cape Town, South Africa.[1]

Education edit

In 2008 Ndopu graduated as part of the inaugural class of the African Leadership Academy.[4] He then graduated summa cum laude with an interdisciplinary studies degree from Carleton University in Canada.[5][6] During this time Ndopu was invited to give a presentation about his work at a 'Master's Tea' at Yale University.[1] Between 2016 and 2017, Ndopu, who self-identifies as queer and a feminist, became the first African student with a degenerative disability to be admitted to the University of Oxford on a full scholarship at the Blavatnik School of Government;[5][7] based at Somerville College,[8] he graduated with a masters in public policy.[2]

Work and activism edit

Ndopu was invited by the Global Changemakers programme to attend the World Economic Forum on Africa where he met with the Founder and Executive Chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab. During Ndopu's second year at Carleton University he was consequently commissioned by the World Economic Forum, at the behest of Professor Klaus Schwab, to produce a White Paper on the role of the private sector in addressing the global youth unemployment crisis.

Ndopu also undertook a program associate position at the now-defunct Clinton Global Initiative's Global Minimum InLabs project.[4] Ndopu served as the Regional Youth Coordinator for Africa at Amnesty International. In 2009, Ndopu founded the Global Strategy for Inclusive Education, a campaign to facilitate the educational rights of children with disabilities living in developing economies.[4]

In 2018, Ndopu became Humanity & Inclusion's Global Ambassador supporting the rights of children with disabilities living in developing countries.[9] Ndopu is the special adviser for impact and corporate sustainability to the Partners of RTW Investments.

In 2019, Antonio Guterres - Secretary-General of the United Nations - appointed Ndopu as one of 17 eminent advocates for the Sustainable Development Goals .[10]

Recognition edit

Ndopu became a Global Changemaker in 2008. The Global Changemakers programme invited him to attend the World Economic Forum in South Africa. He has been recognized by Pacific Standard as one of their "top 30 thinkers under 30",[1] by Shaw Trust and Powerful Media as one of the 50 most influential people with disabilities in the world,[11] and by South Africa's Mail & Guardian as one of their annual "top 200 young South Africans" for 2019.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Andrews, Avital (14 June 2017). "The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30: Eddie Ndopu". Pacific Standard. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b "No Looking Back: Eddie Ndopu Makes Space for a Historic 2018". African Leadership Academy. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  3. ^ Pye, Katherine (24 August 2016). "Eddie Ndopu, Oxford's first disabled African student, might not be able to attend | Cherwell". Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Edward Ndopu". African Leadership Academy. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b Pilane, Pontsho (11 July 2016). "Eddie Ndopu is ready, willing and able to conquer space". The M&G Online. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Edward Ndopu". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Oxford University's first disabled African scholar is being prevented from beginning his studies". gal-dem. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Eddie Ndopu". Somerville Magazine. Somerville College. 2017. pp. 30–31. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Eddie Ndopu becomes Humanity & Inclusion's ambassador". Eddie Ndopu becomes Humanity & Inclusion's ambassador. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Sustainable Development Goals Engagement Reaches New Heights at Largest Ever Global Festival of Action| Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". www.un.org. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  11. ^ newsdesk (25 October 2016). "World's top 50 influential disabled people . . ". All Together Now. Retrieved 4 May 2019.