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Uganda PH with PS

Uganda Policy Hub members confer with H.E. Vincent R. Rubarema, Permanent Secretary to MAAIF

In its meeting from August 23 to 25, 2011 in Kampala, the Ugandan Policy Hub elected to take rapid measures to ensure continuity and sustainability of their Policy Hub and Information Node after IGAD LPI ends in February 2012.

Representatives of the Policy Hub presented their case for sustainability, continued support and funding to H.E. Vincent R. Rubarema, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). While stressing that the mandates and principles of the Policy Hub should be fully aligned with the Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP) of the ministry, he confirmed that the Ministry is willing to continue support to the Policy Hub and the National Information Node, irrespective of whether or not the Policy Hub ultimately decides to operate independently of the government.  The IGAD LPI team also briefed the Permanent Secretary on the on-going lesson learning activities in IGAD Member States which are expected to culminate in an IGAD ministerial meeting in December 2011.  The team highlighted the key lessons learnt from the project, which include the need for a broadening of national policies from their current focus on production and marketing to a more pro-poor agenda which recognizes the various roles that livestock play as a tool of poverty alleviation.

IGAD LPI warmly congratulates the following prominent members of its country teams on their promotions to key government positions:

MoussaIGAD LPI’s Facilitator for Djibouti, Mr Mohammed Moussa Ibrahim became Minister of Transport and Equipment as of May 2011. He used to be in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and the Sea as Director for Agriculture and Forestry and as Advisor for Water Resources.

KamalIGAD LPI’s Steering Committee Member for the Sudan, Dr Kamal Tagelsir Elsheikh has been promoted to General Director of Livestock Economics and Planning at the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries (MARF) from July 2011. He was Director of International Relations at the Ministry.

AmmarIGAD LPI’s National Technical Focal Person (NTFP) for the Sudan, Dr Ammar Sheik Idris Omar, who was Head of the Investment Section at MARF, has now taken over the post of Director for International Relations starting July 2011.

BarkatIGAD LPI’s NTFP for Djibouti, Mr Abdallah Barkat Ibrahim has also been promoted to Director of the Professional Training Centre. He was Chief of Livestock Services at the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and the Sea.

Wishing them all success in their new posts, we hope they will take the lessons they have learned through IGAD LPI with them, continuing to further the agenda of poor women and men livestock keepers at national and regional levels.  

Livestock in Ethiopia offer a multiplicity of services IGAD LPI, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), has revisited estimates of livestock’s contribution to the Ethiopian economy, through two consecutive studies, which conclude that the contribution of livestock in the Ethiopian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to the wider economy is much higher than previous estimates. The studies, “The Contribution of Livestock to the Ethiopian Economy – Parts One and Two” examine and draw conclusions in three key areas:

• The contribution of livestock to the agricultural GDP;
• The value of livestock services not captured in the national accounts;
• The contribution of livestock to the wider economy.

The contribution of livestock to agricultural GDP was reported in IGAD LPI Working Paper No. 02-10 (IGAD LPI WP 02-10). This working paper concluded that current GDP figures dramatically underestimate the value of livestock’s contribution. The study’s initial calculations of total value of 12 categories of ruminant livestock production readjusted estimates based on 2008-09 figures upwards by 47%. Furthermore, the value of animal draught increased livestock contribution to the national agricultural GDP by a factor of 113% over the current gross value.

The second study (IGAD LPI WP 02-11) computes those services provided by livestock that are not captured in national accounts. In the light of this, total economic benefits of livestock goods and services are now estimated be at about 113 billion Ethiopian Birr (ETB) which is  more than three and a half times greater than MOFED’s original estimate in 2008-09. Of the 80 billion ETB increase in benefits, about 15 billion ETB are derived from recalculating the value of livestock products and the remaining 65 billion come from broadening the estimation to include other utilities provided by livestock.

The findings not only strengthen the case for increased investment in the livestock sector, but they also indicate where investments and polices should be directed. A recent IGAD LPI working paper (IGAD LPI WP 01-11) produced in collaboration with the African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) found that the vast majority of policies focus solely on the production and marketing of livestock and livestock products, to the exclusion of other, non-marketed, livelihoods functions provided by livestock, such as savings, transport, risk management and wealth accumulation. This is a gap when seen in the light of the Ethiopian economic studies that found these non-marketed livestock services to be worth approximately twice as much as livestock production and sales.  

Participants of the first Regional Lesson Learning Workshop in Addis Ababa, EthiopiaIGAD LPI country teams drawn from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan and Uganda agreed on the need for a change in development thinking among decision makers, to exploit the potential of the livestock sector in reducing poverty and food insecurity in the IGAD Region. Participants further stressed the fact that changes should change the “rules of the game” so that the policy environment should open livelihoods options on the one hand, and remove constraints to livestock related livelihoods strategies on the other. They also underscored that the institutional change to allow policies to respond to livelihoods needs can be developed through innovative practices, i.e. by doing things differently.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Dil Peeling, Chief Technical Adviser of IGAD LPI, welcomed the fact that the first lesson learning workshop had already produced clear messages to national governments and development partners to see and do things differently. The process will not end there however.

The purpose of the workshop was to prepare national teams to facilitate lesson learning workshops in the respective countries, which will produce draft recommendations for their ministers and for IGAD. The outcomes will be shared at a second regional Lesson Learning Workshop, scheduled to take place in July.

IGAD will finally host a high-level meeting in December 2011, which will convene government ministers and officials, IGAD secretariat, AU-IBAR, and other key actors from the livestock sector in the IGAD Region, to agree a common way forward on pro-poor livestock development for the region. 

Dr. Simplice Nouala, called on regional institutions to recognise the multiple services that livestock provide to livelihoods
Dr. Simplice Nouala called on regional institutions to recognise the multiple services that livestock provide to livelihoods

AU-IBAR’s Chief Animal Production Officer, Dr. Simplice Nouala, called on CAADP, AU IBAR and IGAD to recognise the multiple services that livestock provide to livelihoods, particularly those of the poor, in a recent address to the 12th Annual Meeting of the Inter-Agency Donor Group in Nairobi. He was presenting the findings of a working paper he had recently published through IGAD LPI (available here), in collaboration with FAO.

AU-IBAR’s strategic plan for the period to 2014 already recognises that “The potential of animal resources in contributing to the fight against poverty and the development of Africa is still under-exploited”, and goes on to say “Policies designed to increase production do not necessarily benefit poor livestock keepers who … prioritize survival rather than production”.

The authors built on this and on IGAD LPI case studies that have revealed how little the poor actually participate in the Horn of Africa’s lucrative livestock export markets. They looked at the many services livestock provide to the poor, such as wealth accumulation, managing vulnerability or providing transport, then contrasted these with the objectives of the IGAD region’s livestock policies. They found a policy environment that is successfully supporting those who are in a position to increase production and market their agricultural surplus, but that is failing those who are further down the livestock development ladder.

“The problem is that because the dominant development narrative looks only at production and access to market” he explained “we cannot ensure that livestock development helps the poor…Only when policies consider livestock’s other roles will livestock development become a pathway out of poverty”.

IGAD LPI’s CTA, Dil Peeling, added that one reason why markets and production have dominated policy in the livestock sector is that their benefits are clearly measurable in terms of revenue, whereas setting a value on such goods as traction or social capital requires a different approach. IGAD LPI has been attempting to redress this in IGAD member states by recalculating the contribution of livestock to national economies. Those results they have so far suggest that Dr. Nouala’s analysis also has implications at the macro level. Forthcoming results from Ethiopia, for instance, indicate that whereas the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development had assigned a value of 32 billion Ethiopian Birr to economic activity in the livestock sector in 2008-9, the economic value of the ‘other’ services that were the subject of Dr. Nouala’s presentation were worth a further 65 million birr – around twice as much.

Closing his presentation, Dr. Nouala acknowledged the advances made in the IGAD region through IGAD LPI, but stressed AU-IBAR’s pan-African mandate and the role the organisation can therefore play in advocating for a broader livestock development paradigm throughout the continent.

IGAD LPI is now in discussions with AU IBAR as to how best it can support it in that role.

IGAD LPI team with the National Technical Focal Person of Somalia

Poised to move forward, IGAD LPI and Dr Ahmed Hashi, (Technical Focal Point for Somalia) finalise plans for the next round of engagement in Somalia. IGAD LPI will build on, and strengthen, the structures it established in all three Somali entities in 2009, when it developed the Somali position for the regional policy framework. Through participation, the use of evidence channeled in part through the IGAD LPI Information Node in Sheik Technical Veterinary School, working groups are to develop a Somali owned livestock development plan. In doing so they will use livelihoods approaches to focus programmes and policy directly on poor and vulnerable men and women. Dr Dil Peeling, the Chief Technical Advisor at IGAD LPI, stressed that ultimate aim of supporting the working groups to develop the plan is build Somali capacity to innovate, and respond to the complex challenges facing the countries poor through poverty focussed institutions.