Cameroon has joined the international community this Thursday 9th August 2018 to commemorate the World Indigenous People’s Day.
The United Nations estimates that there are over 370 million indigenous people living in over 70 countries worldwide.
This equates to an estimated 6% of the world’s population.
Cameroon with an estimated population 24million people also have indigenous people living in communities.
These people with peculiar lifestyle are; the Pygmies, the Mbororos and the Kirdis.
In Cameroon, the pygmies also known as the forest peoples are the Baka, Bakola or Bagyéli and the Bedzang.
They are considered the original inhabitants of the forests in Cameroon.
They reside mostly in the East and Southern forest regions of Cameroon.
The Mbororos live mostly in communities found in the West, East, and Northwest regions of the country.
They are estimated to be one million Mbororos in Cameroon, primarily cattle graziers with a nomadic life.
The Kirdi communities live in the Mandara Mountain in the north of Cameroon. Their precise number is not known.
The Indigenous Peoples in Cameroon
In Cameroon the groups are considered indigenous peoples because of their peculiar lifestyle.
They live in seclusion and are sometimes victims of various forms of discrimination.
From the encroachment of their lands, to the infiltration of their communities, pressure groups clamour for respect of the rights of indegenous peoples. Many also believe the group are hardly involved in the definition of policies that concern them.
In Cameroon, a number of policies have been laid down for the advancement of these peoples.
Considered to have very limited access to health, education and other infrastructural amenities, government through the Ministry of Social Affairs have made a lot of strides to fully integrate these peoples.
Working with other specialised institutions, adequate measures have been put in place not only to uphold their rights but encourage the socio-economic advancement of the indigenous peoples.
Also, they are fully recognised and included in the decision making process whenever necessary.
Bruno Ndonwie Funwie