Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa

It was in 1999 that the question of the rights of indigenous people was first tabled in the agenda of the African Commission. In the next four consecutive Sessions of the African Commission, indigenous peoples’ representatives supported by non-governmental organizations zealously lobbied and brought to the attention of the African Commission the plight of indigenous people on the continent characterized by, among others, marginalization, exploitation, dispossession, harassment, poverty and  neglect. 

The persistent and concerted lobbying did not only attract the attention of the African Commission but also swayed the latter to adopt a resolution establishing a Working Group of Experts on the Rights of Indigenous or Ethnic Communities at its 28th Ordinary Session in November 2000 held in Cotonou, Benin. This resolution ( ) mandated the Working Group to:

Ø  Examine the concept of indigenous populations / communities in Africa;

Ø  Study the implications of the African Charter on the well-being of indigenous communities especially with regard to the right to equality (articles 2 and 3), the right to dignity (article 5), the right to protection of all peoples’ against domination (article 19), the right to self-determination (article 20), the right to cultural development and identity (article 22);

Ø  Consider appropriate recommendations for the monitoring and protection of the rights of indigenous communities.

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Working Group Chairperson

Working Group Members

Prof. Rémy Ngoy Lumbu , Jamesina Essie L. King (Mrs)

Adopted Resolutions

Mission Reports


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