Pastoralism in Africa: dynamic change at the margins

The book Pastoralism and development in Africa: dynamic change at the margins (2012, 328pp), edited by Andy Catley, Jeremy Lind and Ian Scoones, grew out of the conference “The Future of Pastoralism in Africa” convened  in Addis Ababa in March 2011 by IDS (Institute of Development Studies) Futures Agricultures Consortium and Tufts University. The book highlights innovation and entrepreneurship among pastoralists. In 20 chapters, it provides empirical evidence of diverse development pathways in the drylands. It shows that the best use of such areas is mobile livestock keeping. Pastoralism can be modern, efficient and highly profitable, and out-competes the alternatives many times over. More effective policies in favour of pastoralism and the livestock economy could bring more riches, more widespread development and stability to this troubled region, if pastoralists’ own initiatives are recognised and supported.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to post the book or parts thereof on the CELEP website; you will need to buy the book, which is published by Routledge ( See also a book review in the New Agriculturist and another in the Guardian blog: Protecting pastoralists’ rights to tap into Horn of Africa’s economic potential. A video featuring comments from two of the editors and two of the contributing authors is available under and there is a piece on “Pastoralism in Africa: the hidden story of development at the margins” by Ian Scoones on the IDS webpage. In May 2013, IRIN News also published an article “Pastoralism’s economic contributions are significant but overlooked” based on this book.

Posted on 17 July 2012 in News, Pastoralism & Marketing, Pastoralism & Mobility, Pastoralism & Natural Resources, Pastoralism, Policy & Power, Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition, Value of Pastoralism