How was a ‘policy space’ created for pastoralism in Kenya?

Cattle market in Kenya

Pastoralism in Kenya has long been neglected and understood. Pastoralists have been seen by some as vulnerable, a source of conflict and a drain on the country’s resources. But recent developments have begun to change that narrative.

A new government Ministry, the Ministry of Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands, was formed in 2008. It aimed to create policy and institutional change, refocusing resources to support pastoralists and the areas in which they live and work.

A new Future Agricultures Working Paper by Izzy Birch and Mohamed Elmi tells the story of the Ministry and the circumstances that led to its creation. The authors suggest that a ‘policy space’ has been opened up, enabling new opportunities, relationships and directions for the region. They also examine what progress has been made and what the future might hold for pastoral development in the country.

In the video embedded above, the authors explain the story in a seminar recorded in May 2013.

Further reading: Pastoralism and Development in Africa: Dynamic Change at the Margins

(Image: Garissa cattle market, Kenya by USAID on Flickr)

This article was originally posted on The Crossing.