This document contains the Policy Framework for Pastoralism in Africa, which was drafted by the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission. The document reflects a continent-wide policy initiative which aims to secure, protect and improve the lives, livelihoods and rights of African pastoralists.The framework explicitly recognizes the rights of pastoralists and the need to provide security, services, infrastructure and economic opportunities in pastoral areas which are comparable to non-pastoral areas. The policy pursues the following Objectives: (1) Secure and protect the lives, livelihoods and rights of pastoral peoples and ensure continent-wide commitment to political, social and economic development of pastoral communities and pastoral areas; (2) Reinforce the contribution of pastoral livestock to national, regional and continent-wide economies. Specific strategies are outlined for each of these objectives.The document recognizes that avoidable losses of pastoral livestock are excessive in many parts of Africa, and these losses have direct impacts on the food security and livelihoods of pastoral households. Therefore the policy seeks to contribute to food security.Further the policy aims at making pastoralism more productive and sustainable. Making pastoral development an integral part of sustainable development is among the strategies of the instrument.The policy also aims at reducing rural poverty. Strategy 1.6 is entirely devoted to mainstreaming pastoral issues in poverty reduction programmes.In addition, the policy seeks to enable more inclusive and efficient pastoralism. Special attention is goven to the role of women (the objective is to strengthen the roles and rights of women in pastoral communities, see Strategy 1.5). Moreover, Strategy 1.4 concerns the legitimacy of indigenous pastoral institutions. On the other hand, the strategies under Objective 2 can be summarized as follows: (a) strengthen pastoralist access to their rangelands, through appropriate reform of land tenure policy and legislation, and supported by participatory land use planning; (b) support the further development of regional and national policies to enable pastoral mobility within and between states, supported by locally-relevant livestock disease surveillance and certification systems; (c) prevent avoidable losses of livestock assets through approaches such as improved veterinary services and institutionalization of risk-based drought management systems; (d) support the marketing of pastoral livestock and livestock products; (e) support the further development of credit and financial services for pastoralists, drawing especially on private sector provision of livestock loans and insurance; (f) recognize that livestock and plants in pastoral areas are a crucial element of Africa’s genetic resources and therefore, should be protected on that basis; (g) support research and extension that responds to the needs and interests of pastoralists, and which draws on their extensive indigenous knowledge.
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