9th August 2021

International Indigenous Peoples Day


Greetings to all indigenous peoples in Africa! The theme of this year’s indigenous people’s day is “Leaving no one behind: Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract.” This call is informed by the understanding that Indigenous Peoples including in Africa, are under the ultimate authority of central governments who exercise control over their lands, territories, and resources. Indigenous Peoples have been marginalized socially, economically, and politically. Their land rights remain unrecognized or abused in most countries in Africa and the resources in their territories are plundered often without their free, prior, and informed consent. Consequently, indigenous peoples in Africa, suffer poverty, illness, discrimination, institutional instability, and financial insecurity among others. COVID 19 including its responses has exacerbated the situation.

Indigenous Peoples of Africa therefore join indigenous peoples from all corners of the world demand a new social contract between us and our governments. We must demand inclusion, participation, and approval in the constitution of a system with social and economic benefits for all. A new social contract demands that land and resources in indigenous people’s territories must be owned and controlled by indigenous peoples themselves. And that Indigenous Peoples must be capacitated to develop the resources not only for their own economic development but for the benefit of the nations in which they live.

IPACC therefore calls on:
  • the African union, the African Development Bank, EAC, SADC and ECOWAS to spearhead the development of a new social contract with indigenous peoples through the review of review of their respective policies and programs to ensure indigenous peoples are no longer left behind but are put in front.
  • African member-states of the above institution to meaningfully support the development of a new social contract and to domestic the new social contract in their respective territories.
  • The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to urgently constitute a UN Inter-agency support group to deliver as one in spearheading and supporting the African Union and its member states in redesigning a new social contract
  • The private sector and non-governmental organizations to review their policies and programs to champion a new social contract with indigenous peoples
  • Indigenous peoples in Africa to better organize themselves at all levels and drive the agenda of a new social contract with their governments, the private sector and NGOs.
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Indigenous Environment Defenders.

Africa’s hunter-gatherer and nomadic pastoralist peoples have lived symbiotically and sustainably within Africa’s ecosystems for millenia. Their Traditional Knowledge Systems are treasure houses of indigenous knowledge.

Under colonialism, African hunters and nomads suffered land dispossession and cultural oppression. In the post-colonial era, they’ve advocated for their land, cultural and human rights.

Now, in this Age of Climate Change, Africa’s hunter-gatherer and nomadic pastoralist peoples are recognised as frontline guardians and managers of African biodiversity, and provide early warning for climate change trends.

We appeal to African governments to formally recognise the Traditional Knowledge Systems and practices of hunters and nomads.


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