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. 

The PS of Kenya, Mr-Lusaka, speaking to IGAD LPI taem

The PS of Kenya, Mr Kenneth Lusaka, speaking to IGAD LPI taem in his office in Nairobi

IGAD LPI team met H.E. Kenneth M. Lusaka, the Permanent Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Livestock Development, on July 8th, 2010 and discussed ways through which the Policy Forum and the Information Node, which were created by the Project, could be fully and sustainably integrated within government structures. Dr Abdi Jama, Livestock Information Advisor of IGAD LPI, briefed H.E. Lusaka on the critical importance of sustainability of the policy hub and the information node in Kenya to formulate and implement pro-poor policies as well as getting the livestock agenda fully promoted in the Kenyan National Development Planning. He also briefed the permanent secretary of the upcoming study on the contribution of livestock to the Kenyan national GDP, which would be undertaken soon by an international consultant in collaboration with national experts at the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Commending what has been so far achieved by IGAD LPI, H.E. Kenneth M. Lusaka underscored the fact that even though livestock plays an important role in the national GDP, its profile still needs to be raised in order to keep the sector develop further to bring about a positive change in the lives of the poor livestock keepers in Kenya and across other IGAD member states. He said his Ministry would look into ways to strengthen the institutionalization processes of IGAD LPI programmes with the support of the Kenyan country national team. He further noted that the GDP study would be one significant input for their national accounts and his Ministry would be pleased to support the consultant in every way.