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sharing in governance of extractive industries

IFC Performance Standard 7 defines indigenous peoples, 'as social groups with identities that are distinct from mainstream groups in national societies, are often among the most marginalized and vulnerable segments of the population'.

In the field advocacy groups use phrases such 'historical owners of the land', 'traditional owners of land', and more recently I heard 'customary owners or first occupants', interchangeably which can be very confusing in Africa where tribal migrations on  large scale are still happening across national and tribal borders that were unilaterally decided at the scramble for Africa in 1885 .....resulting sometimes in the (de facto) ethnic reconfiguration of many areas. Problems arise when migrants outnumber those they found there first (who probably displaced another group) and begin to claim recognition as 'owners of the land' or use their electoral power to become leaders. It often leads to conflict and phrases such as 'indigenous peoples' become extremely political and divisive.

I think some of these conflicts and tensions are caused by bad governance...as access to power is increasingly perceived as a means to socio-economic upliftment for some and marginalisation for the others; regrettably the dividing lines that appear all to often are tribally, regionally or politically-based.   

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