Regional Symposium on Pastoral Livestock


 "A sustainable contribution to the development and security of the Saharo-Sahelian areas"


N'Djamena, 27-29 May 2013

The regional symposium, co-organised by SWAC, the Government of Chad and the French Development Agency (AFD), in collaboration with the European Union, IFAD and the IUCN, provided the grounds for launching a prospective analysis on how pastoral livestock could play an enhanced role in the development and the stabilisation of the Sahel and West Africa region. Following the technical discussions, a High-Level Roundtable was held with political leaders of the region on 29 May (afternoon) to draw lessons and conclusions from the symposium.
Download the “Summary report of the colloquium discussions” (Available in French only)

  Context Symposium | Focus areas | Agenda | Participants Documents | Useful links | Contact

The context

Forty years ago, unparalleled droughts put the Sahel under the spotlight of international attention. This series of climate disasters resulted in the massive influx of emergency aid and a desire to better understand the region to prevent future crises. Today, the Saharo-Sahelian region has regained global attention, due to the insecurity plaguing the area. It is perceived as a threat against the stability of the region’s States and against international security. Necessary emergency security responses have been put in place, costing lives and encroaching on national budgets. This context makes the formulation of long-term development solutions difficult, although these will constitute the foundations for the future stability of these areas.


The Symposium

To reach stability, the Saharo-Sahelian areas need to be occupied and valorised. Pastoralism offers the double advantage of being adapted to the environment as well as compensating for the weak population density. Itinerant pastoralists do not stop at the frontiers of the West African Sahel. Mobility creates complex connections within a much larger zone including northern and central Africa. It equally plays a role in trade relations between the coastal countries and northern Africa, which have considerable economic and political potential but are unable to develop further today. On the basis of these premises, the N’Djamena Symposium aimed to persuade the African and international community to place pastoral livestock at the centre of stabilisation strategies in the Saharo-Sahelian areas, and, consequently, to encourage countries to strengthen their internal reflection on the development of pastoralism and in a larger context, the sustainable development of the pastoral areas.


Focus areas

  • Retrospective and prospective analyses: in-depth analysis of the history of the Sahara and the Sahel, of its insecurities, its economy and of pastoralism; identification of current and future challenges; reflection on the role of mobility (and by extension, that of pastoral livestock) in the face of transnational threats (the movement of mafia and terrorist groups, illegal trafficking, etc.)
  • Analysis of public policies: in-depth analysis of the creation and the modalities of public policies regarding the development of the Saharo-Sahelian areas and the promotion of pastoral livestock
  • Proposals for action: proposals for technical and political action for the creation of a strategy that promotes pastoral livestock herding at the centre of the efforts for security and development



  • Monday, 27 May, 2013:  Introduction
    • Opening statement by Prime Minister Djimrangar Dadnadji
    • Introduction to the symposium: pastoral livestock herding and factors of insecurity
  • Tuesday, 28 May, 2013:  Thematic workshops (carried out simultaneously)
    • Workshop 1: Governance and security – challenges and public policy responses
    • Workshop 2: Strengthening the resilience of pastoralist communities – challenges and public policy responses
    • Workshop 3: Strengthening the economic and social sustainability of pastoralist communities – challenges and public policy responses
  • Wednesday, 29 May, 2013: Feedback from the workshops in plenary and closing remarks
    • Ministerial Conference (carried out simultaneously) leading up to the Declaration of N’Djaména
  • Thursday, 30 May, 2013: Conference at the University of N’Djaména – Toukra Campus and pastoral fair 



The Symposium brought together some 200 participants from West African and North African countries: livestock sector experts, representatives of pastoral organisations, policy makers at national and regional levels as well as development partners. His Excellency Idris Déby, President of the Republic of Chad, alongside Sahelian and North African Ministers and high-level representatives from respective regional economic communities participated in the High-level Roundtable (Ministerial Conference) on 29 May.




Useful links