Minority indigenous groups in Namibia to join forces

17 Oct 2014 11:00am
OPUWO, 17 OCT (NAMPA) - The Executive Director of the Hizetjitwa Indigenous People’s Organisation (HIPO) says plans for the establishment of an umbrella forum for all indigenous groups in Namibia are advancing.
Tjinezuma Kavari announced this at an information-sharing meeting organised by HIPO for various traditional leaders in the Kunene Region at Opuwo on Wednesday.
The forum will represent different indigenous groups in Namibia, and is aimed at helping them to stand united around problems which affect all of them.
Currently, there are four registered organisations for indigenous groups in Namibia, and each mainly focuses on serving their target group.
Kavari noted that there are common issues which cut across all indigenous groups, which have to be addressed holistically rather than separately by the government of the day.
These involve issues such as access to education, poverty reduction, health, involvement in governance and decision-making, economic empowerment, amongst others.
The four registered organisations are HIPO from Kunene which represents the OvaHimba, Ovatjimba, Ovatwe and OvaDhimba (Ovazemba) minority groups; the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA), which represents the interests of the San communities not only in Namibia, but also in Angola, Botswana and South Africa; the Nama Indigenous People’s Organisation and the Basters Indigenous People’s Organisation.
A big meeting aimed at formulating the forum will be held from 10 to 14 November this year in Windhoek.
The name of the forum, as well as its aims and objectives will be decided on during that meeting.
The meeting will be funded by the Indigenous People of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), which was founded in 1997.
It is one of the main trans-national network organisations recognised as a representative of African indigenous peoples with governments and bodies such as the United Nations.
As of 2008, IPACC was composed of 150 member organisations in 21 African countries.