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

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Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • Sustainable development
  • Ethnic minority
  • Participation
  • Inclusion
  • Discrimination

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-25143-7_4
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Notes

  1. 1.

    One of the primary sources of minority protections in international law is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 27, 19 December 1966, formulated “in an extremely cautious, vague manner” and “leaves many questions open, for which an answer must be found by way of interpretation”. See Manfred Nowak, UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights—CCPR Commentary 485 (1993). See also Articles 31 and 32 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 23 May 1969, 1155 UNTS 331, reprinted in 8 I.L.M. 679, entered into force 27 January 1980.

  2. 2.

    Article 27 states that in those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion or to use their own language.

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Correspondence to Paul Mulindwa .

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Mulindwa, P. (2020). Don’t Develop Us Without Us! Inclusion of Indigenous Ethnic Minorities in Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. In: Benyera, E. (eds) Reimagining Justice, Human Rights and Leadership in Africa. Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-25143-7_4

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