Pastoralism and policy in the Horn of Africa: report of a Shirka at Isiolo

Published on 1 January 2000

Pastoralism is an enduring economic and social system that has evolved over centuries and incorporates highly refined resource management, productivity, trade and social welfare mechanisms. Having received few tangible investments in the past – due partly to prevailing views of pastoralism as unproductive and unsustainable – strategies to aid Pastoralists in reaching their maximum economic, environmental and social potential are now being discussed. The notion of pastoralists participating in the forming and implementation of policies directly affecting them has also been called for. This report documents some of the strategies and actions proposed to address the social and economic marginalisation of pastoralists, following a workshop (a Shirka) between a group of people who come from or work with pastoralist communities in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. It explains why communication, participation and representation of marginalized communities is important when tackling poverty. It advises on how to develop reasonable and practical policies. It presents ideas for effective and implementable programmes and action plans of how participants at all levels intend to act towards the goals of stability, profit and sustainability among the pastoralist community.


Patta Scott-Villiers

Research Fellow


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