World news story

Promoting the rights of the Baka Pygmies in Cameroon

The British High Commissioner to Cameroon hosted on Friday March 14th a Baka music performance and film projection.

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Global Music Exchange Group and the Baka dancers

Baka dancers and singers working with the UK charity the Global Music Exchange

The British High Commissioner to Cameroon, H.E. Brian Olley hosted a Baka music performance and documentary projection at his resident in Yaounde on the 14th of March 2014.

The aim of the event was to promote the rights of the Baka pygmies and to lobby government as well as other development partners to help in protecting the forest which is the natural habitat of the Baka people as well the centre of their culture and livelihood.

The event was done in collaboration with a UK charity Global Music Exchange - GME also known as “One Heart” by the Baka people. According to the leader of the charity Martin Craddick “their objective is to raise awareness of the plight of the Bakas by showing people the beauty of the culture of these people who are loosing their home as a result of excessive forest exploitation and government forest policies”.

British High Commissioner to Cameroon, H.E. Brian Olley, in introducing the projection of the a the documentary produced by renowned BBC journalist Phil Agland said “though some work has been done by the Cameroonian government in the area of basic education to assist the Bakas, a lot is still to be done for these people often considered as second class citizens to regain their place within Cameroonian society”.

The guests at the event some of whom included Commonwealth Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute, Basic Education Minister, Mrs. Youssouf Hadidja Alim and the head of the UN system, Mrs. Najat Roshdi; were touched by Phil Agland’s film which focused on the effects of alcoholism, bad forest policies and human exploitation on the Baka people and their way of living.

Music and dance was also in the agenda with the guests of honour the Baka dancers and singers performing spectacular musical pieces for all those present.

Published 17 March 2014