The contestation over the indigenous in Africa: The Ethiopian example

ILPI’s Senior Advisor and Research Professor Dereje Feyissa and Affiliated Senior Researcher Meron Zeleke have a recently published a chapter in the book titled 

The discourse and related practices regarding the rights of indigenous peoples is considered ‘the last frontier’ in the human rights revolution, as it relates to those particular groups who have been left on the margins of development, who are perceived negatively by dominant mainstream development paradigms, and whose cultures and lives are subject to discrimination and contempt (Jackson/Warren 2005). But the big elephant in the room is the issue of definition – who are the ‘indigenous people’ anyway, and how to find them, and where? The contention surrounding the definition of indigenous people and the criteria used for identification are hugely contested. The applicability in the African continent is even more acute, disputed not only between human rights advocates and African governments, but also among local communities and scholars.

Read more about the book here.

Feyissa, D. & Zeleke, M 2015, "The contestation over the indigenous in Africa: The Ethiopian example", in Ethnicity as a political resource: conceptualisations across disciplines, regions, and periods, University of Cologne Forum "Ethnicity as a Political Resource" (ed.), pp.117-134.
Top of page