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IGAD Pastoralist Expo Kicks off in Addis

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD will in the next one week host  the “Horn of Africa Pastoralist Expo”  that kicks off from the 26th January to 2nd February 2024 in Addis Ababa , Ethiopia

The expo will not only celebrate the rich cultural heritage, resilience, and sustainable development of pastoral communities but showcase new heights of collaboration representing a crucial step towards greater regional integration.

Dr. Dereje Wakjira, Director IGAD and leader of Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development said the expo is meant to recognize the effect of pastoralists in the horn of Africa in terms of  production and sustainable management of ecosystems and vast dry land.

“This expo will also build momentum towards policy and practice support to transform the sustainable management of livestock in the dry land areas. It will provide a platform for dialogue, collaboration, and policy advocacy to enhance the well-being of pastoralists in the region”, he said in an interview prior to the conference.

He noted that there is growing demand for livestock in Africa continent  and thus the need  for the  region to  benefit from this opportunities but also sustainably manage the ecosystem,

“ We will be exploring the opportunities and challenges  including charting the way forward considering  we host the biggest population of livestock In this region and also trade with others “, he said  .

Dr. Dereje noted that during the Expo, IGAD will have panel sessions where community representatives, experts, and other stakeholders will discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by pastoral communities and how to transform pastoralism in the IGAD region

The Expo expects more than 200 people presenting the member states of IGAD and the symposium will host over 1500 participants that will reflect on development issues ,challenges and opportunities  in pastoralism , what to do considering the dynamic changes happening in horn of Africa such as the climate and also social political changes and how  the transformation and adaptation of pastoral system can be done in the coming years .

Dr. Dereje  acknowledged that the symposium and pastoral day  could not have happened if it wasn’t  for development  of other partners such as FAO,  UNDP  Swedish and German , and EU among others  noting that the expo is being co organized with the Ethiopian  Ministry of Irrigation and Lowlands (MILLs).

The IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), has the mandate to facilitate gender, conflict and environment responsive sustainable and equitable livestock and complementary livelihoods development in arid and semi-arid areas (ASALs) of the IGAD Member States.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a body of eight member states namely Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda (Eritrea is currently inactive).

By Wangari Ndirangu

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