African Development Bank Addresses Indigenous Issues
On February 12, the African Development Bank (ADB) hosted a forum to discuss how Indigenous Peoples’ rights and interests can be integrated into the bank’s policies and development initiatives. The forum’s speakers discussed the challenges faced by African governments in addressing the unique economic needs for each of the diverse communities within their countries, and emphasized the need to view Indigenous Peoples as equitable partners, rather than victims, in development.
The ADB’s social and environmental safeguards differ from those of the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and other multilateral financial institutions, in that they contain no explicit protections for Indigenous Peoples. In June 2012, the Civil Society Coalition on the ADB released a report asserting the need for a standalone Indigenous Peoples’ policy within the ADB safeguards. The ADB's hosting of an Indigenous Peoples' forum indicates increasing attention to this issue.