Pastoralism in Africa’s drylands: reducing risks, addressing vulnerability and enhancing resilience
Pastoral livestock production is crucial to the livelihoods and the economy of Africa’s drylands. It developed 7 000 years ago in response to long‑term climate change. It spread throughout Northern Africa as an adaptation to the rapidly changing and increasingly unpredictable arid climate. It is practised in an area representing 43 percent of Africa’s land mass in the different regions of Africa. In some regions it represents the dominant livelihoods system. It covers 36 countries, stretching from the Sahelian West to the rangelands of Eastern Africa and the Horn and the nomadic populations of Southern Africa, with an estimate of 268 million pastoralists.