Pastoralism as a concept continues to be misunderstood; with pastoralists often being on the receiving end of government marginalisation and harassment. In part, this has to do with the fact that governments, more so, central governments, are often populated and ran by people having a sedentary background – think of the desk-bound official raised in a farming community. Which then means that, invariably, the official will think of development in terms of the pastoralists settling down so as to access such services as education, health care, extension services, security and the like.

In this issue of our newsletter, we address the challenges faced by pastoralists in the region. It also documents reported causes of human rights abuses such as forceful evictions where, at times, the military has even been deployed to evict the pastoralists.

In addition, we also shed light on the benefits of pastoralism at the community or national level. For
instance, pastoralism has been documented as contributing greatly to the economies of such countries
as Ethiopia and Mongolia. And on matters pastoralism, it would be remiss not to address the issue of cross-border mobility. This in view of the fact that the borders of Africancountries are rather arbitrary as
they are a creation of colonialism. As such, they may not have factored in the dynamics of communal
groupings. Think of the Maasai of Tanzania and the Maasai of Kenya.