October 30th, 2007 07:25 EST
Ethiopian pastoralists to meet in UN-backed debate
More than 250 Ethiopian pastoralists in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region from over 17 different ethnic groups will gather at a five-day United Nations-sponsored debate and celebration next month aimed at promoting an exchange of ideas.
Participants at the event, to be held from 8-12 November in Nyangatom woreda in the South Omo zone, will discuss matters ranging from the rise of tourism, trade and economic diversification and the management and eradication of conflicts, to social change and the provision of basic services.
The pastoralists will also confer on changes in land use; the opening of new transport, communication and market links; the development of education; and bolstering participation in national affairs.
South Omo’s pastoralist groups drew inspiration for this upcoming meeting from other gatherings both in Ethiopia and Kenya as a means to talk about how to adapt to rapid changes.
Also attending some of the events will be members of local and national administrations, development agencies, pastoralists from neighbouring groups, as well as representatives from the Government, UN, the donor community and non-governmental organizations.
The Pastoralist Communication Initiative – a unique initiative aiming to promote knowledge and communication for pastoralists and pastoralism in Ethiopia and Africa – of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is financially and logistically supporting the event.
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