Investing in the Horn’s drylands for food security & development
After decades of comparative neglect, the Horn of Africa is experiencing unprecedented investment. Large-scale infrastructure projects now dominate national development plans. They provide an opportunity to reduce long-standing inequalities in provision of public goods and services. However, some investments have widened social differentiation in pastoral areas: a few benefit, but the percentage of poor and very poor pastoralists is increasing. The Future Agricultures Policy Brief 71 “Investment in drylands: widening the benefits for food security and development” (2014, 8pp) argues that state-driven investments should provide for the greater public good. Careful planning and management are needed if investment is to contribute to inclusive growth rather than deepen poverty. The authors call for evaluating the poverty impacts of investment, broadening the benefits of public investment, and coordinating and building synergies between investments in ways that make pastoralists less vulnerable to shocks and better equipped to take advantage of processes of economic transformation.