Congress To Hold 1st Hearing On Indigenous Peoples Of Africa
WASHINGTON – On May 12, for the first time, the U.S. Congress will devote a hearing solely to Indigenous Peoples of Africa.* The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission will host the gathering, the second in its unprecedented series of hearings on Indigenous Peoples worldwide.
African leaders will outline Indigenous-controlled economic development models. Other speakers will describe continuing human rights abuses and the challenges of climate change for Indigenous Peoples of Africa.
Also on the agenda will be the groundbreaking decisions of several African states to include Indigenous Peoples, for the first time, in the lawful social consensus. Post-colonial regimes throughout Africa have spent decades denying that Indigenous Peoples exist, just as colonial powers had done before them. But as they break with the colonial past, African nations have recognized Indigenous rights for the first time. The Central African Republic, Kenya, and the Republic of Congo have taken legal measures to reclaim Indigenous Peoples as original citizens.
A witness from the Nyangatom Tribe in Ethiopia, Phillemon Nakali Loyelei, will describe another first among environment-friendly economic development models: the Indigenous-controlled Community Conservancies that several tribes are trying to institute in Ethiopia. By conserving wildlife on their customary lands, they hope to increase their revenues from tourism.