The Director of Settle Ghana, a non-governmental organization based in the Savannah Region, Mr. Abu Karimu is advising governments across the West Africa sub-region to see indigenous people as key partners in development.
According to Mr Karim, just like governments in developing countries go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank to secure loans for infrastructure development with conditionalities, governments in Africa must be ready and willing to invest in their indigenous people.
"The social and economic needs of indigenous people must be given priority when sharing the national cake since the living conditions of most indigenous people are nothing to write home about," Mr Karim emphasized.
He continued, "Go to Obuasi, Praso, Awaso, Bawena etc and see the standard of living of the indigenes, my brother it is a shame. Ghana as a country must consciously take a second look at their challenges and prioritize its needs and aspirations."
Mr Abu Karim was speaking to the media after touring some fringe communities around the Mole National Park in the Savannah region.
The 4,577km2 park is the biggest national park surrounded by 33 communities with a population of about 10 000 people according to the 2010 population and housing census with more than half of these communities not having access to electricity, portable drinking water and motorable roads.
Settle Ghana is therefore saying that the success story of Ghana must not only be defined by the number of tall buildings and physical structures in Accra and kumasi but the success story should be defined by the quality of lives of indigenous people across the country.
He further urged government to adhere to international declarations and convention in respect to enhancing the dignity of the indigenous people.
Mr Karimu specifically mentioned the United Nations declaration on rights of indigenous people (UNDRIP) and ILO 169.
Settle Ghana is an NGO that defend the rights of indigenous people irrespective of their tribe, religion, race or political orientation.