Increase understanding and awareness of Pastoralist systems in Ethiopia
Mainstreaming Pastoralism Education and understanding in Ethiopia
A great challenge that face Ethiopian pastoralism is lack of proper understanding of the pastoralist context, system and practices by decision makers, as well as diminishing generational indigenous knowledge and memory transition. Lots of uncoordinated secondary data and research findings coupled with insufficiently documented indigenous knowledge contributes to the fading capacity and misunderstanding of pastoralism. A systematic collection could build adequate capacities and assist practitioners to implement appropriately programs in pastoral regions.
Tufts university in partnership with several Universities in Ethiopia have developed a pastoralism education curriculum, a model targeting Eastern Africa to build capacities and increase understanding and awareness of Pastoralists among young professionals across all faculties through inclusion of pastoralism as a cross cutting unit or a core course in identified Universities creating an opportunity to voice pastoralists vulnerability, skills and active participation to promote pastoralism relevant policies and improved service delivery. The curriculum is also designed to target training of policy and key decision makers on pastoralist related policies, and practitioners involved in relevant sector that support pastoralist need and interests. It also focuses on the capacity building of extension workers and mentoring of new graduates on practical application of knowledge and skills on pastoralism through sponsored for short term training’s on pastoralism, tailored training’s and internship placements on pastoralism, system and practices.
The curriculum development was grounded on three pillars of pastoralism: (1) Mobility, (2) Herd dependence and productivity, and (3) Variability of climate change and adaptability, i.e. conversion of land use, livestock protection and natural resource use that are climate resilient. The universities involved include Afar-Samera, Jijiga, Bule Hola and Borana.Eunice Obala