6.06 Angela Raven-Roberts

Being, becoming and believing in pastoralism: The status of Ethiopian pastoralists in the 21. Century

Livelihood systems in Ethiopia are in transition due to new development, commercial and migration opportunities as well as the continuing challenges of climate change, global recession, demographic pressures and contested natural resources These issues are having specific impacts on the agro-pastoralist and pastoralist communities. Pastoralists make up almost 13 per cent of the total population of Ethiopia and inhabit the semi arid and arid regions of the south and east as well as of other regions in the southwest and along the Sudanese and South Sudan borderlands. The pastoralist mode of production with its reliance on mobility evolved as a key adaptation to unpredictable rainfall and scarce resources. This feature has served both as an important marker of identity as well as a livelihood system. Many of the areas inhabited by these communities once considered ‘marginal’ and ‘remote’ are now becoming central to national development planning as they become the locus for new initiatives in irrigation and commercial agriculture, mining, parkland and energy development. Government policies over the years have varied from total neglect to concerted efforts to sedenterize and challenge cultural and livelihood practices.  The purpose of the panel is to consider the role and contributions of pastoralist communities in Ethiopian history and economy as well as to consider how current political and economic developments are impacting social, political and livelihood relations within pastoralist communities.

Participants are invited to submit papers for this panel: papers can include any current or historical topic related to pastoralists in Ethiopia and could include topics such as:

- Land alienation

- Pastoralist involvement in commercialization

- Gender and generational issues

- Identity and urbanization

- Demographic growth and transformation of land tenure regimes

- Impact of mineral exploitation

- Pastoralist actions for political representation

- Educational policies for pastoralist communities

- Reconceptions of geographic boundaries and livelihood labels

- Perceptions of as well as about Pastoralists

- Current policy and governance


Dr. ABDIWASA ABDILAHI BADE Pastoralists’ livelihood vulnerability in Somali Region of Ethiopia: Exploring political marginalization
Mr ABDULKADER SALEH MOHAMMAD The Afar Pastoral Community and their Uneasy Relationship with the Ruling Elites in Addis Ababa and Asmara 
Mr ADMASU LOKALEY KIDEWA The Complex Inter-Ethnic Interactions Along Ilemi triangle: The case of Nyangatom, Toposa and Turkana
Dr. KELEMEWORK TAFERE REDA Trends in Pastoral Land Use and Land Administration and Their Implications for Multi-stakeholder Conflict: Experiences from the Afar Region of Ethiopia
Mr & Prof. SAMUEL TEFERA ALEMU & Masayoshi SHIGETA Perceptions, opportunities and challenges of sedentarization in Hamer, Southwestern Ethiopia