On the agenda: Africa’s pastoralist communities

A herder in Mauritania. A new policy to develop and improve pastoral communities across Africa is a step closer to implementation. Photo by: Oxfam International / CC BY-NC-ND

A new policy to develop and improve pastoral communities across Africa is a step closer to implementation.

The AU Commission, which acts as the administrative branch of the African Union, is currently hosting a conference in Ethiopia. On the agenda: Validate the implementation plan of a policy on pastoralism and endorse its resource mobilization strategy framework. The AUC is also set to discuss roles and responsibilities of the policy’s stakeholders.

The African Union first adopted the policy in 2011. It is to serve as a guide for addressing the challenges faced by the region’s pastoralist communities, which an AUC agricultural official said are often undervalued despite their crucial contributions to Africa’s national and regional economies. The AUC meeting, which runs until Aug. 23, focuses on operationalizing the policy.

Aside from AUC members, the meeting will be attended by African government officials, regional pastoralist groups, nongovernmental organizations, academics and representatives from international development partners.

The meeting — and expected adoption of the policy’s implementation plan — is timely, given current efforts to make African countries more drought-resilient. Pastoralist communities in Africa have also been slowly attracting international attention, and a regional policy could help boost foreign aid for the sector. 

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.