Pastoralism and Development in Africa

  • Published 17/07/12
  • Buy online
  • ISBN: 9780415540728

This book is available to read Open Access from the publisher’s website.

Pastoralism and Development in Africa: Dynamic Change at the Margins
Earthscan / Routledge, July 2012

Read this book

Buy the book

Pastoralism book coverAbout the book

This book gives a view of ‘development at the margins’ in the pastoral areas of the Horn of Africa. Edited by Andy Catley, Jeremy Lind and Ian Scoones, Pastoralism and Development In Africa: Dynamic Change at the Margins highlights innovation and entrepreneurialism, cooperation and networking and diverse approaches which are rarely in line with standard development prescriptions.

Through 20 detailed empirical chapters, the book highlights diverse pathways of development, going beyond the standard ‘aid’ and ‘disaster’ narratives.

This book is part of the STEPS Centre’s Pathways to Sustainability book series.


Once again, the Horn of Africa has been in the headlines. And once again the news has been bad: drought, famine, conflict, hunger, suffering and death. The finger of blame has been pointed in numerous directions: to the changing climate, to environmental degradation, to overpopulation, to geopolitics and conflict, to aid agency failures, and more.

But it is not all disaster and catastrophe. Many successful development efforts at ‘the margins’ often remain hidden, informal, sometimes illegal; and rarely in line with standard development prescriptions. If we shift our gaze from the capital cities to the regional centres and their hinterlands, then a very different perspective emerges. These are the places where pastoralists live. They have for centuries struggled with drought, conflict and famine. They are resourceful, entrepreneurial and innovative peoples. Yet they have been ignored and marginalised by the states that control their territory and the development agencies who are supposed to help them. This book argues that, while we should not ignore the profound difficulties of creating secure livelihoods in the Greater Horn of Africa, there is much to be learned from development successes, large and small.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars with an interest in development studies and human geography, with a particular emphasis on Africa. It will also appeal to development policy-makers and practitioners.

Praise for Pastoralism and Development in Africa

This book drives home the tremendous scale and pace of change in African pastoralism. Grounded in authoritative knowledge of general context, as well as incisive analysis of social and historical particularities, the book spans resources and production, commercialisation and markets, land and conflict, established and emerging alternative livelihoods.
Katherine Homewood, Professor of Anthropology, University College London

This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of pastoralism in Africa. It will provide important guidance for both policymakers and development practitioners.
Hon. Ahmed Shide, MP, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ethiopia

There is a rich array of case studies in this book, which capture the vitality and innovation of pastoral societies. They are a welcome antidote to the negativity that infects far too much of the discourse on pastoralism.
Hon. Mohamed Elmi, MP, Minister of State for Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands

This book shows how innovative and dynamic changes are occurring in pastoralist areas in response to increasing livestock marketing opportunities, domestically, regionally and internationally, and these changes are providing substantial, but often hidden, economic benefits.
Dr. Abebe Haile Gabriel, Director, Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission


Contributors to the book discuss the issues it raises for policy and action.

Read the book

This book can be downloaded Open Access, and paper copies can also be purchased from the publisher’s website.

Read this book

Buy the book