It is estimated that 40 million Indigenous people live on this continent. Populations living in the northern Sahara desert are nomadic or semi-nomadic, living by shepherding, hunting and gathering. In Mali alone, 13 million nomadic pastoralists can be found, while in Ethiopia there are 10 million Indigenous people. In Tanzania, there are 125 distinct ethnic groups, all of whom belong to some of the poorest populations on the planet.

The situation is no different in Central Africa. In Ruanda and nearby Congo, Indigenous peoples form a large collection of expatriate groups who were endangered by the civil war that ravaged the country -- more than 60 per cent only manage to eat once a day. In Burundi, deforestation generated in order to develop urban areas has reduced hunting and gathering opportunities, accelerating the loss of the Indigenous population. In the Republic of Chad, 99 per cent of Indigenous people are illiterate, and in Congo, the systematic violation of human rights affects the welfare of the majority of the population.

In southern Africa, the government of Botswana does not recognize Indigenous people, because it considers all citizens to be Indigenous. Throughout the region, there is great difficulty in finding exact numbers for Indigenous populations.