Culture and Society. Indigenous groups protected

The Cameroon government has put in place mechanisms to favor the development of indigenous groups through the creation of schools and sensitization campaigns while respecting their cultures and ways of life.

Cynthia EFOPA

Cameroon yesterday join the international committee to commemorate the international day of indigenous people. According to the United Nations Organizations, indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment and there exist an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world and they account for 15 percent of the poorest. They share a common problem in relation to the protection of their rights and territories as distinct people. In Cameroon, groups like the pigmies and the Bororos are characterized by a strong identity of social, cultural and economic characteristics that are distinct from those of the others. From their morphologies, accent and style of living they are identified by the dominant society as vulnerable and at times turn to face problems related to the protection of their right and lands.

Celebrations in Cameroon was launched by the Minister of Social Affairs Irene Nguele in the Adamawa Region. Celebrating under the theme “indigenous people migration and movement”, the Social Affairs minister reiterated that the indigenous people have a right to traditional lands, territories and natural resources. Like other Cameroonians they have a right to education, good health, and good roads. He invited the identified groups to denounce any violation of their rights and told the masses to accept them the way they and protect their distinct cultures.

In the Bororo village of Didango in the Noun Division of the West Region, the day was marked by the celebration of collective marriages during which some fifteen couples were join in legal matrimony and were issued a married certificate by the Sub Divisional Officer of Koutaba. The Association for the protection of the rights of the Bororo people known as BUSCOUDA in collaboration with the government have been influential in raising awareness on the need to educate the Bororo girl child and create an enabling environment for her to have access to quality healthcare and a healthy motherhood.

In the East region, where there is the Bakas pygmy group, the government has made them a point of concern for years now. Mechanisms to improve on their standard of living while preserving their environment and culture has been governments’ priority. The government has been carrying out sensitization campaigns to encourage them to go to school and to exploit forest resources in a sustainable manner. As vulnerable and minority groups, the government is leaving no stone unturned to protect their distinct cultures and way of life.

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