Brussels, 17 February 2012/ ACP/ CTA: Two panels of speakers will discuss the huge economic potential of pastorialism in ACP countries, as well as the challenges, opportunities and policy frameworks supporting around 268 million pastorialists in Africa.

Organised by the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) the discussions next Wednesday, 22 February, are part of CTA’s bi-monthly Brussels briefing series in cooperation with the African Union, European Commission, ACP Secretariat, Concord and media organisations to improve information sharing and networking around rural development in the context of EU/ACP cooperation.

Brussels Briefing #26highlights the immense potential of pastoralism for reducing poverty, generating economic growth, managing the environment, promoting sustainable development, and building climate resilience. Pastoral systems support the livelihoods of millions of people living in harsh environments, where other forms of land use are highly risky or simply not possible. Statistics from African Union’s policy framework for pastoralism cite 268 million pastoralists, who live and move on 43 % of Africa’s land mass and contribute between 10 to 44 % of the GDP in the countries that they live in.

However, key challenges are seen in the form of rising food prices and financial crises, difficulty in finding the right financial services and insurance, the exclusion of women from decision-making, legally protecting livestock assets, various market access issues, and poor animal health.

To add to that, the mix of growing population, shrinking and fragmentation of land and climate change are likely to provoke and aggravate conflict over resource access, control and utilisation. The diversity of pastoralist groups needs to be recognized as not all pastoralists are at the same level of vulnerability.

The Brussels Briefing on Wednesday will target more than 150 ACP-EU policy-makers and representatives of EU Member States, civil society groups, research networks and development practitioners, and international organisations based in Brussels.

Panellists include Jeremy Swift, Pastoral development specialist, formerly Professor, IDS, University of Sussex; Abebe Haile Gabriel, Director of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union; Jean-Michel Courades, Leader Programme, DG Agriculture, European Commission and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Coordinator of Bororo nomadic peoples association, Chad.

For the full list of speakers and programme: Download PDF or visit to register for the event.