Sad news on the passing away of Zéphyrin Kalimba
It is with deep sadness that IWGIA received the news that Mr. Zéphyrin Kalimba passed away on the 2nd of January in a hospital in Kigali, Rwanda at the age of 62.
Zéphyrin Kalimba was a great defender of Indigenous Peoples’ rights in Rwanda (in Rwanda termed Historically Marginalized Peoples) and on the African continent at large. He was a long-term serving expert member of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, where he served ever since its establishment in 2000 and until 2012. He was a very active and dedicated member who carried out numerous promotional activities in the entire Central African region, and whose important contributions for Indigenous Peoples’ rights in Africa are highly valued and recognized.
Kalimba was a close and long-term partner to IWGIA, through both the African Commission work and IWGIA’s collaboration with the organization COPORWA (Community of Potters of Rwanda), of which he was the director for many years. He also served for eight years (2012 – 2020) as a Senator in Rwanda.
With the death of Zéphyrin Kalimba, Africa has lost a great human rights defender, and he will be missed.
May his soul rest in peace.
Photo: Zéphyrin Kalimba at a meeting of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Arusha, Tanzania in 2012. Credit: Marianne Wiben Jensen / IWGIA