The African Development Bank is the only development bank without a policy that recognizes and protects the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The CSO Coalition on the AfDB, in collaboration with the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC), has launched a campaign for the African Development Bank to adopt a strong policy on Indigenous Peoples within its safeguards review.
The AfDB is currently revising its safeguard policies designed to reduce environmental and social harms caused by AfDB-financed projects. While AfDB’s proposed draft is largely aligned with that of sister institutions like the Asian Development Bank and World Bank, the most glaring difference is the absence of a policy or any real protections for Indigenous Peoples, which include pastoralist groups and hunter-gatherer communities like the Pygmies of Central Africa and the Khoisan of Southern Africa. In its proposed draft, AfDB mentions Indigenous Peoples for the first time, yet the draft lacks any concrete measures to ensure that Indigenous Peoples do not suffer disproportionate impacts from AfDB-funded projects.
The Coalition is advocating for AfDB to adopt a standalone Indigenous Peoples policy within its safeguard policies that is in line with other multilateral development banks and consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).