futureofpastconf8webOver 40 papers were presented across 12 panels during the conference. Find the full listing of plenary presentations, all papers, plus panel abstracts here.

The Future of Pastoralism in Africa

An international conference to debate
research findings and policy options

March 21-23rd, 2011

At the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Addis Ababa
Convened by the Future Agricultures Consortium and the
Feinstein International Center, Tufts University, Addis Ababa

Organising Committee: Dr. Jeremy Lind (Future Agricultures Consortium, IDS Sussex University), Professor Ian Scoones (Co-Director, Future Agricultures Consortium, IDS Sussex University), Dr. Andy Catley (Director, Tufts University, Addis)

Monday, March 21st

8:30 Registration

9.00 Opening session: Chair Ian Scoones, Future Agricultures Consortium and IDS Sussex

Welcome: Amdissa Teshome (Future Agricultures Consortium, Ethiopia) and Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam (Minister of Federal Affairs, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia)

Panel discussion on ‘What are the key issues influencing the future of pastoralists in sub-Saharan Africa?

  • Dr. Abebe Haile Gabriel, Director, African Union Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture
  • Dr. Luka Deng, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Government of Southern Sudan
  • Hussein Tari Sasura, Assistant Minister for Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands
  • Ahmed Shide, State Minister at Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

11.00 Tea and coffee

Sign up for panel sessions

11.30 Scene-setting presentation and plenary discussion: Pathways of change in pastoral areas (Ian Scoones, Andy Catley, Jeremy Lind)

12.45 Introduction to timeline analysis for different pastoral areas

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Panel session I – 3 parallel panels

Panel 1 – Regional policies on pastoralism and the politics of pastoralist policy
Chair: Yacob Aklilu (Tufts University, Addis)

While there has been considerable experimentation in policy and law to support ‘traditional’ forms of mobile pastoralism in West Africa, to what extent can these be replicated in other parts of sub-Saharan Africa where the pressures on pastoralism are different, and also where the receptiveness of governments and the influence of civil society organisations is variable? Who has benefited from policies and laws in West Africa intended to support pastoralists? Have these been the right laws and policies in the first place? Should promoting customary, mobile pastoralism be the core objective of laws and policies to support the livelihoods of pastoralist populations? Given the very different future scenarios for pastoralist populations, what are the policy priorities? Are there particular characteristics of pastoral regions which require integrated, cross-border regional policies to promote economic activity associated with pastoralism?

  • Legislating for pastoralism: lessons from West Africa Ced Hesse (International Institute for Environment and Development)

Panel 2 – Sustainability of pastoralist production systems: mobility and climate change
Chair: Terry McCabe (University of Colorado)

Climate change is often treated as a key driver affecting access to resources for pastoralists, but what other drivers are limiting access and undermining the capacity of livestock production systems in pastoral areas? Have demographic pressures become so extreme that real resource limits have been reached, and the opportunities for flexible, mobile production systems have disappeared? Has the very basis for adaptability of pastoralist production systems been irrevocably undermined? Or, by contrast, are mobile systems the best way of adapting to increased resource pressure and variable climatic conditions, and more than ever need to be supported? Is climate change providing opportunities for the expansion of livestock systems into previously agricultural areas?

  • Climate change in sub-Saharan Africa: consequences and implications for the future of pastoralism Polly Ericksen, Philip Thornton, A. Ayantunde, M. Herrero, Mohammed Said, Jan de Leeuw (International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi)
  • Mobility and the sustainability of pastoral production system in Africa: The past and the future Gufu Oba (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
  • Land fragmentation and the requirements for sustainable pastoralism: lessons from southern Kenya David Nkedianye (Reto-o Reto Foundation, Kenya)
  • Vulnerability in a pastoralist area: where does ‘climate change’ fit in? Dawit Abebe (Tufts University, Addis)

Panel 3 – Regional conflict dynamics in the Horn of Africa and the implications for pastoralist development
Chair: Sally Healy (Chatham House, UK)

While localised competitions over access to and control of critical resources are endemic in many areas of the Horn of Africa, the nature of conflict in pastoral areas is complex and changing. How is the closer integration of pastoralist areas into national and regional markets affecting the dynamics of conflict, as well as reshaping opportunities for building peace? How is political devolution and the emergence of new authorities in pastoral areas affecting social relations in and amongst pastoralist societies in the Horn? How is the linking of conflict in the Horn to global security concerns changing the politics of development and efforts to promote peace in the region? Are there any notable local peace-building efforts that might serve as models for promoting peaceful relations more widely? What are the limits of local peace-building approaches that are currently favoured by aid actors in the region?

  • The changing face of rangeland conflict in the eastern Horn Paul Goldsmith (Development Policy Management Forum, Kenya)
  • Multiple dimensions of pastoral conflict over land and territory within the Afar region of Ethiopia Simone Rettberg (University of Bayreuth)
  • The long conversation: building peace between the Boran and Gabra Tumal Orto (Pastoralist Shade Initiative, Kenya) and Nura Dida (Oromiya Pastoralists Association, Ethiopia)

16.00 Tea and coffee break

16.30-18.00 Open Space: posters, photography, videos

*There will be time during this session for working groups to meet and discuss timelines.

19.00 Conference dinner

Tuesday March 22nd

8.30 Plenary discussion: What are the five things that have changed in pastoralist systems in the past 30 years? Short reflections from:

  • Stephen Sandford
  • John Galaty
  • Jeremy Swift
  • Gufu Oba

Tea and coffee will be served

9.30 Panel session II – 3 parallel panels

Panel 4 – Land grabbing, tenure and pastoralist responses (I)
Chair: Roy Behnke

Competition for land in pastoral areas has never been so intense – a combination of land fragmentation, enclosures, urban expansion, agricultural encroachment, and the acquisition of large land areas under investment deals for crops, biofuels, ranching, and tourism has created enormous new pressures on access to key resources and the movements of livestock and people. What have been the responses – at local level, and more broadly through policy initiatives? Does this represent the end of pastoralism as we knew it, or are there innovative responses through new forms of tenure arrangement, legal challenge and cooperative arrangements with new land users which are emerging? But who are the winners and losers in this process?

  • The modern motility of pastoral land rights: tenure transitions and land-grabbing in east Africa John Galaty (McGill University, Montreal)
  • Elite pastoralism: an invisible hand grabbing land in the Uganda cattle corridor Charles Muchunguzi (Mbarara University of Science and Technology) and Martin R. Doornbos (International Institute of Social Studies, the Hague)
  • Mobile pastoralism and land grabbing in Sudan: impacts and responses Mustafa Babiker (University of Khartoum)
  • Pastoral innovations and the changing political economy land in the Tana Delta, Kenya Abdirizak Nunow (Future Agricultures Consortium and Moi University, Kenya)

Panel 5 – Alternative livelihoods and exits from pastoralism (I)
Chair: Helen Young (Tufts University)

Pastoralists have always moved in and out of mobile livestock production, and very often have also been traders, farmers, wage earners and town dwellers, too. But has this dynamic shifting between livelihoods changed in recent times, and what are the future trends likely to be? Not everyone can be a pastoralist, but are there productive pathways of diversified livelihoods which are possible? For example, is there a secure future for pastoralists in towns, or is this exit from pastoralism one towards extreme vulnerability and destitution? What are the different kinds of exit from pastoralism, and who returns and how? What are the economic and social relationships between herders and those outside the pastoral economy? What potential multiplier effects are there? And is pastoralism ever compatible with large-scale irrigation? Is there always conflict or are there potential positive complementarities?

  • Seeking alternative strategies: settled pastoralists as farmers, town dwellers, wage earners, and traders Elliot Fratkin (Smith College and the University of Massachusetts)
  • Structural and procedural properties important in promoting bio-enterprises as alternative livelihoods to pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihoods Chinwe Ifejika Speranza (Centre for Training and Integrated Research for Arid and Semi-arid Lands Development, Kenya and the University of Bern) and Susie Wren (Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Bio-enterprise Development Programme, Kenya)
  • Diversification, experimentation, and adaptation: pastoralists in communal governance of resources and livelihoods strategies Stephen Moiko (McGill University, Montreal)

Panel 6 – Commercialising pastoralism: markets, trade and value-added diversification
Chair: Cate Turton (DFID Livelihoods Adviser, Addis)

Across pastoral areas of sub-Saharan Africa markets are opening up, helping to improve livelihoods and generate substantial new wealth for local and national economies. Who is commercialising, and who benefits from the opening up of market and trade opportunities? Is this driving a new process of social and economic differentiation in pastoral areas? Is this process generating significant new wealth for rangeland economies which trickles down or provides the opportunity for wider diversification or is it in fact concentrated amongst elites, creating newvulnerabilities for others? Is commercialisation leading to greater social stratification and the further establishment of two-tier pastoral societies, with attendant social problems and potential for conflicts?

  • Moving up or moving out? Commercialization, growth and destitution in pastoralist areas Andy Catley and Yacob Aklilu (Tufts University, Addis)
  • Shifting Sands: the commercialisation of camels in mid-altitude Ethiopia and beyond Yacob Aklilu (Tufts University, Addis)
  • Camel marketing in the northern Kenya/southern Ethiopia borderlands Hussein Mahmoud (Future Agricultures Consortium and Pwani University College, Kenya)
  • Responsible companies and African livestock-keepers: teaching but not learning John Morton (University of Greenwich)

11.15 Short break between panels

11.25 Panel session III – 3 parallel panels

Panel 7 – Land grabbing, tenure and pastoralist responses (II)
Chair: Peter Little (Emory University)

See panel 4 for summary

  • The political economy of land reform in pastoral areas Fiona Flintan (for the International Land Coalition)
  • Land tenure and pastoralism in western Sudan Munzoul Assal (University of Khartoum)
  • Issues of pastoral land policy in Ethiopia Abebe Mulatu and Solomon Bekure (Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Ethiopia)

Panel 8 – Alternative livelihoods and exits from pastoralism (II)
Chair: Jim Sumberg (Future Agricultures Consortium and IDS Sussex)

See panel 5 for summary

  • Replacing pastoralism with irrigated agriculture in the Awash Valley, north-eastern Ethiopia: counting the costs Roy Behnke and Carol Kerven (Odessa Centre, UK)
  • Pastoralists and irrigation: time for a rethink? Stephen Sandford
  • Dealing with risk and uncertainty: a case study of Karrayu communities in Upper Awash Valley, Ethiopia Girum Getachew (Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies) and Detlef Müller-Mahn
  • Being and staying pastoralists: in search of a sustainable solution for Maasai displacement Opportuna Kweka (University of Dar es Salaam)

Panel 9 – Delivering basic services in pastoralist areas: human health, education, and veterinary
Chair: Wolfgang Bayer

In remote areas with limited infrastructure and high costs of delivery, especially when populations are mobile, how can states and other actors best provide services that are appropriate and reliable and that address basic needs for pastoralists for better health, dependable veterinary care and access to education and learning opportunities that matter to the pastoralist economy? Pastoralists historically have received very few of the benefits of the modern state, and are often reliant on local moral economies and aid hand outs. Are pastoralists equipped with the networking and mobilisation skills and capacities to demand their rights as citizens, and demand services from the state?

  • Reaching pastoralists with formal education Saverio Kratli, David Siele (Ministry of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands), Jeremy Swift (IDS Sussex)
  • Primary animal healthcare in pastoralist areas: experiences with evidence-based policy reform Berhanu Admassu (Tufts University, Addis)

13.15 Lunch

14.30 Panel session IV – 3 parallel panels

Panel 10 Pastoralist innovations
Chair: Ann Waters-Bayer

Alongside formal scientific and technological advancements, pastoralists are developing and testing new knowledge and practices to manage longstanding challenges and more recent pressures as well as take advantage of emerging opportunities to participate in national and regional politics and markets. However, although there is considerable innovation happening in pastoralist areas it is not documented or understood except by the people doing it. Why are pastoralists innovating? What examples are there of creative problem solving by pastoralists? Who is innovating, who is not and what are the reasons for any significant social differentiation? What are the implications of these innovations and new activities for the way the institutions of the household, family and kin groups are organised, within themselves, and in relation to one another? What mechanisms are pastoralists developing to spread innovation and what are the opportunities, challenges and hindrances more generally to promoting the uptake of innovations?

  • Town camels and milk villages: the growth of camel milk marketing in the Somali Region of Ethiopia Abdi Abdullahi Hussein (Future Agricultures Consortium, Ethiopia)
  • Range enclosures in southern Oromia, Ethiopia: an innovative response or erosion in common property resource tenure? Bokutache Dida (Future Agricultures Consortium, Ethiopia)
  • Innovation and distress: managing multiple uncertainties in Laikipia, Kenya Jeremy Lind (Future Agricultures Consortium and IDS Sussex) and John Letai (Future Agricultures Consortium and Oxfam GB, Nairobi)
  • More than climate change: pressures leading to innovation by pastoralists in Ethiopia and Niger Yohannes GebreMichael (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia), Saidou Magagi (INERA, Niger), Wolfgang Bayer and Ann Waters-Bayer (ETC, Netherlands)

Panel 11 – New aid approaches for strengthening pastoralist livelihoods, including social protection
Chair: Mohammed Abdinoor (USAID, Addis)

There is a wide recognition that decades of food aid delivery has not helped to significantly improve the livelihood prospects of poorer pastoralists. Aid agencies and governments alike are rethinking their approaches and there is considerable experimentation with new ways of delivering aid to pastoralists. But are these the right ones to help strengthen pastoral livelihoods in the future? For example, will safety set schemes simply lock destitute pastoralists into ultimately unsustainable livelihoods or are they providing life-saving assistance for people with no other options? Should donors and governments seek out more radical options, such as supporting destitute pastoralists to leave pastoral areas, such as through the provision of skills, training and provision of basic assets? At the same time should governments and donors back those with a chance of future success through insurance schemes that provide protection for livestock assets – by definition the not-so-poor?

  • Insuring against drought-related livestock mortality: piloting index-based livestock insurance in northern Kenya Andrew Mude (International Livestock Research Institute)
  • Social protection for pastoralists: just give them cash? Stephen Devereux (Future Agricultures Consortium and IDS, Sussex)
  • Seeking survival: the case of pastoral drop outs in the Borana plateauGetachew Gebru and Solomon Desta (International Livestock Research Institute)

Panel 12 – Social difference and pastoralism: gender and youth as determinants of change and continuity
Chair: Dorothy Hodgson (Rutgers University)

Historically women in pastoralist society have been the agents of change and innovation, often taking up the burden of work following crises that test and adapt existing systems. Pastoralist societies collectively have been getting poorer yet women have become more autonomous and have gained access to resources through the work they have taken up to compensate for the loss of herds. At the same time as social hierarchies in families and clans become less significant in some pastoralist societies, more autonomy for young men potentially emerges, with greater flexibility in livelihood opportunity. However what is the downside of this? Are increasing numbers of youth being dispossessed, disinherited and abandoned by family and clan structures, and so forced to migrate or take up militarised livelihood strategies? Most pastoralist youth today will not be pastoralists in the future, but what will they do?

  • Women experiencing ‘change’: case studies from the pastoral areas of Ethiopia Fiona Flintan (International Land Coalition)
  • The role of women and youth in processes of economic and technological change in Diffa region, eastern Niger Marie Monimart (International Institute for Environment and Development)
  • Economic empowerment for pastoralist women in the Horn of Africa: Comparative reflections on policy and practice Everse Ruhindi (PENHA)

16.30 Tea and coffee

17.00 Question Time: plenary debate of donor, aid agency and civil society representatives

18.00-18.45 Working groups meet to finalise timeline and trend analysis for different pastoral areas

18.45 Departure for conference dinner

Wednesday March 23rd

8.30 Timelines and trend/scenario analysis
Short presentations from working groups
Chair: Andy Catley (Tufts University, Addis)

10.30 Tea and coffee

11.00 Plenary: synthesising and summing up – What have we learned? Where are the agendas? What are the emerging themes? Which ways forward to secure the future of pastoralism? Short invited commentaries and plenary discussion

12.15 Closing remarks and thanks, Ian Scoones (Future Agricultures Consortium, IDS Sussex)

12.30 Departures [lunch will be available]

*The Organising Committee gratefully acknowledges support from the UK Department for International Development, Cordaid and Tufts University.