Long-term future of people in Ngorongoro District, Tanzania

The paper “Move child, move!: towards middle and high income for the people of the Ngorongoro District” (2016, 18pp) explores the long-term economic options in the district in the light of Tanzania’s development goal to achieve middle-income status in 20 years and high-income status in 80 years. The Ngorongoro District is part of the Serengeti ecosystem. It witnessed human population growth from about 25,000 in the early 1960s to 200,000 people in 2016, predominantly pastoralist Maasai. This has led to a reduction in the number of livestock units per person from over 18 in 1960 to 2.5 today. Moreover, 20% of the population controls 80% of the livestock, which makes the situation even worse. Land available for grazing has been reduced by bush encroachment, increased cultivation and permanent settlements, and community arrangements with tourist operators to reserve land for wildlife.

The author Sef Slootweg calculates that pastoralism can be combined with photo tourism and game-hunting activities for only about 40,000 people in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the area bordering the Serengeti Park. For the currently 160,000 people (which will grow to nearly 1.4 million by the end of the century), economic alternatives need to be created in the remaining 30% of the district’s territory. Diversification and intensification of tourism, livestock and cropping, forestry, mining and generating sustainable energy can create economic growth rates of 5.4–6.7%. These are needed to achieve middle-income status by mid-century and high-income status by the end of the century. Today, the local people do not benefit from the revenues of tourism and mining, and the other sectors are underdeveloped. The district needs socially responsible companies and investors who want to maintain high environmental standards to prevent rapid exhaustion and exploitation of the natural resources and the local people.

Posted on 30 April 2017 in Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition