The first-ever Alliance for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IP&LCs) for Conservation in Africa (AICA) Congress aims to prioritize the engagement of Africa’s Indigenous People and Local Communities (IPLCs) in policy arenas relevant to their land, territories, and conservation.

The congress, which begins today and runs from October 25 to 27, 2023, intends to bring together about 300 participants from grassroots communities, leaders of Indigenous Peoples Organizations, Development Partners, Conservation NGOs/CSOs, African Governments, and other significant players in conservation in Africa.

H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and Chair of AGRA, AGRF, and Hailemariam & Roman Foundation(HRF), addressed the opening session of the conference today. His keynote address underscored our shared commitment to preserving biodiversity, ensuring sustainability, and protecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

He said, “We must work hand in hand with Indigenous knowledge to combat the climate crisis, preserve biodiversity, and ensure sustainable development. We should give due concern to the importance of collaboration between governments, indigenous Peoples and local communities, and all stakeholders.”

“Let us embrace this moment and join forces to create a future where the voices of Africa’s Indigenous Peoples inspire global change. Together, we can usher in a brighter, more sustainable future, “ he added.