The newly instituted Ministry of Peace (MoP) has indicated it has prepared a policy document which will guide pastoralist area development while briefing the media on the 17th Pastoralists Day to be celebrated in Jinka town of the South OmoZone of the Southern Regional State.
According to SeyoumMesfin (PhD), the State Minister for Federalism and Ensuring Equitable Development at the MoP,said that the Ministry, replacing the now defunct Ministry of Federal and Pastoralist Affairs,is organizing the event in Jinka.
Seyoum, who has recently joined the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) Central Committee and consequently appointed to the Ministry, said that although the tasks carried out in the past 20 years to bring about equitable development at the pastoralist areas of the country faced some difficulties, he indicated that there were successful endeavors in experience sharing among the pastoralists, educating pastoral area representatives, voicing their challenges to policy makers and law makers.
However, the success rates of the interventions by the Ministry have been hindered because of the frequent conflicts in the country’s pastoralist areascausing huge differences and suspicions among the pastoralist communities. The coming together of these pastoralists will bring about a better knowledge of each other, hence, helping bridge gaps.
Seyoum also pointed out that the perception that pastoralism is not a way of life, limitations of implementation from the side of the government as well as conflicts were some of the challenges to bring about the intended changes in pastoral areas.
This year’s edition of the Pastoralists’ Day is being organized by the Ministry in a concert with Pastoralists Forum Ethiopia Association – a civil society organization— and the Pastoralists’ Affairs Standing Committee of the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) with the theme:“Enhanced Pastoralists’ Participation and Benefit for National Unity”.
Speaking of this year’s celebration, Seyoum said that “It will be a platform for the pastoralists to know each other and voice their issues as well as share experience and culture. There will also be a stage for them to come together and reflect their problems and present their demand to lawmakers, the executive and other governmental and non-governmental organizations are rather creating differences among them.”
The event includes experience sharing sessions, symposiums by Universities including Jinka University, a discussion with the guest of honor during which time the pastoralists will raise their issues, evaluate past activities and results,share activities carried out to solve the problems of pastoralists,and giving recognition to contributors for the enhancement of the life of pastoralists.
Adding on this, the Executive Director of Pastoralists Forum Ethiopia Association TezeraGetahun said that previous activities have been effective in creating policy attention for pastoralists not only at the national but also at the continental level,hence, the African Union adapting a policy framework for pastoralists in the continent.