Among Cameroon’s more than 20 million inhabitants, some communities self-identify as Indigenous. These include the hunter/gatherers (Pygmies), the Mbororo pastoralists and the Kirdi.
The Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon uses the terms Indigenous and minorities in its preamble; however, it is not clear to whom this refers. Nevertheless, with the developments in international law, civil society and the government are increasingly using the term Indigenous to refer to the above-mentioned groups.
Together, the Pygmies represent around 0.4% of the total population of Cameroon. They can be further divided into three sub-groups, namely the Bagyéli or Bakola, who are estimated to number around 4,000 people, the Baka – estimated at around 40,000 – and the Bedzang, estimated at around 300 people. The Baka live above all in the eastern and southern regions of Cameroon. The Bakola and Bagyéli live in an area of around 12,000 km2 in the south of Cameroon, particularly in the districts of Akom II, Bipindi, Kribi and Lolodorf. Finally, the Bedzang live in the central region, to the north-west of Mbam in the Ngambè Tikar region.