9 August 2023 - The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) stands in solidarity with indigenous communities in Africa and all over the world on this occasion of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. As we mark this special day, the Commission is not only reminded of the necessity to safeguard and advance the rights of indigenous communities, but also acknowledges the pressing need to intensify its efforts for the promotion and protection of indigenous peoples' rights.
Guided by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and noting the relevance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007, the Commission remains dedicated to enriching its understanding and amplifying the human and peoples’ rights of indigenous populations. Our commitment extends to closely monitoring developments affecting indigenous populations within the African context and globally. We remain steadfast in our belief that the pursuit of human and peoples’ rights is a collective responsibility. It is with concern that we observe instances where indigenous voices are marginalized, often labelled as primitive, insignificant or archaic. These attitudes hinder progress towards inclusive societies and equitable development.
We embrace the call for indigenous peoples’ leadership in fostering holistic approaches to addressing the political, economic, social and cultural challenges and well-being of indigenous communities. Our focus is underscored by the importance of recognizing indigenous knowledge systems, ways of life, and the preservation of food practices for enhanced food security and resilience. Leveraging existing regional and international frameworks, disseminating knowledge, and conducting further research are pivotal steps in this journey.
The Commission would like to use this occasion to extend its warmest wishes to all indigenous groups as they celebrate their rich heritage, resilience, and contributions to our shared humanity.
In the spirit of this celebration, we are pleased to announce the upcoming virtual Continental Conference on the Status of Indigenous Peoples in Africa, scheduled for 25th and 26th August 2023. This landmark event will provide a platform for robust engagement on indigenous knowledge systems, history, map Indigenous communities and unpack the Indigenous portfolio and illuminate on the work of the Working Group on Indigenous Communities/ Population and Minorities in Africa. We envision this conference as a steppingstone towards fostering understanding and cooperation to address the unique challenges faced by indigenous communities across Africa.
Hon. Dr. Litha Musyimi-Ogana
Chairperson, Working Group on Indigenous Communities/ Population and Minorities in Africa