Don’t Develop Us Without Us! Inclusion of Indigenous Ethnic Minorities in Sustainable Development Goals in Africa

  • Citation: Mulindwa, Paul. “Don’t Develop Us Without Us! Inclusion of Indigenous Ethnic Minorities in Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.” Essay. In Reimagining Justice, Human Rights and Leadership in Africa, edited by Everisto Benyera. Springer Publishing, 2019.
    • Topics:
    • Movements for Inclusion
    • Keywords:
    • Africa
    • sustainable development
    • ethnic minorities
    • participation inclusion
    • discrimination

The adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, with a pledge of “no one will be left behind” was greeted with optimism, and ushered in hopes and promise of all-inclusive approaches to development. However, the implementation of SDGs has remained elusive and the effects not reaching the very vulnerable and marginalised communities. The 18 SDGs will be achieved effectively, if serious attention is given to the needs and human rights of vulnerable ethnic minorities; improve on strategies for achieving the goals (particularly at the national level); and reduce the barriers, such as discrimination, exclusion and inadequate processes, which challenge participation of ethnic minorities in SDGs processes. Many human rights instruments and legal frameworks emphasise that states have to devise means to enable ethnic minorities to participate fully in economic, social, political progress and development affairs of their country. Inclusion and effective participation of ethnic minorities in development processes is crucial to sustainable development. The question is whether SDGs will deliver development to vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities in Africa [which Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) failed to do] without their inclusion? Inclusion of ethnic minority implies efficient and accountable institutions that promote development; protect human rights; respect for the rule of law, as well as ensure that people contribute to decision-making processes on issues that affect their lives.

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