Policies Embracing Cross Border Dynamics of Pastoralism Crucial in Strengthening Regional Ties: Minister

Policies need to embrace and support the cross border dynamics of pastoralism recognizing the potential in strengthening regional ties, Irrigation and Lowland Areas Development Minister Aisha Mohammad said. The East Africa Pastoralists Expo that brought together more than 1,200 pastoralists kicked off at the Millennium Hall today. The aim of the expo, which will run for the next five days, is to ensure shared and mutual development among countries in the region by mitigating the challenges of the pastoral communities. Speaking at the opening ceremony, the minister said the pastoral communities transcending national boundaries are the essence of regional integration in the greater Horn of Africa and East Africa. The borderless nature of pastoralism is not just a way of life, but a model for regional cooperation, she noted. "Our discussions at this expo should (therefore) reflect a deep understanding of the pastoralist way of life. We must view their mobility and cultural diversity as assets essential for the social economic development and integration of our region." According to Aisha, pastoralists in the lowlands contribute substantially to the collective existence in the region. Thus,'our policies need to embrace and support the cross border dynamics of pastoralism recognizing the potential in strengthening regional ties.' Finally, the minister called on country representatives in the region, development partners and the private sector to embrace and actively support climate resilient development initiatives for pastoralism in the region. House of People's Representatives Speaker Tagesse Chaffo said that it is imperative to strengthen regional ties to solve the problems facing the pastoral communities in a sustainable manner. The East African Pastoralists Expo will strengthen the development ties and sharing experiences between the pastoralist communities of neighboring countries in the region, he added. When the countries of the region stand together and cooperate, they can solve the problems facing the pastoralist, including climate change and drought. Djibouti Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, Livestock, and Hydraulic Resources Minister, Mohammed Ahmed said it is important to transform pastoralists into agro-pastoralists. The minister applauded the efforts of the Ethiopian government in irrigation development in the lowlands, stating that he has seen "a lot of irrigation farms in the lowlands of Awash." Mohammed added that the East Africa Pastoralist Expo is very important because the largest population of livestock in Africa is in Ethiopia. Source: Ethiopian News Agency