Pastoralism: Africa’s Invisible Economic Powerhouse?
& Ced Hesse
Published: March 2013
Many elements of developing economies are missing from their national accounts. This is more than a statistical dilemma. It hampers the development of government policy, results in under-investment in those missing elements and simultaneous over-investment in others, and helps to paint an incomplete picture of the health, wealth and opportunities existing in these economies. There is a considerable literature on how the informal economy is excluded and the need to strengthen data collection for better policy development. This paper builds on this literature by examining pastoralism in order to exemplify this underinvestment and marginalisation, which creates a vicious circle of impoverishment, conflict and environmental degradation in most developing countries with significant pastoral communities. Investment in data collection and analysis will result in considerable benefits to policy, activities to achieve sustainable development and transparency.