This paper reviews pastoralism in the Horn of Africa region with reference to the basic socio-economics of pastoralism, and the use of mobile livestock production to generate income and food for human consumption. The paper also examines long-term trends in pastoralist areas which, at first sight, appear to be contradictory.
The first trend is the growth of a substantial domestic and export trade in livestock and meat across the region, driven largely by supplies from pastoralist areas and local and international demand. This trend indicates robust and responsive livestock production and marketing in pastoralist areas, despite recurrent drought, conflict and weak governance. In contrast, the second trend sees increasing levels of poverty and destitution in pastoralist areas, and continued high levels of human malnutrition.