Africa’s forgotten stateless population

Published: 12/Feb/2019
Source: Deutsche Welle

Africa has one of the largest stateless populations in the world, however governments have only recently started to recognize it as a serious problem.

By Ineke Mules

In the Kiambaa area on the outskirts of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, it’s not unusual to hear hymns sung in the Shona language. It’s more unusual, however, when you consider that Shona is one of the main languages of Zimbabwe.

The district is home to over 4,500 Shona people; many of whom are first or second generation Zimbabweans whose grandparents trekked to Kenya in the 1960s to establish the Gospel of God Church. But although they were born and raised in this country, thanks to dated citizenship laws they are not recognized as Kenyan nationals, nor do they have any official connection with Zimbabwe. They are, in effect, stateless.

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Themes: Statelessness
Regions: Kenya, Pan Africa, Côte d'Ivoire
Year: 2019