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As in the rest of the Horn, pastoralism is one of the oldest forms of social and economic organisation operating in Ethiopia. Within Ethiopian borders, 29 ethnic groups, representing approximately 15% of the population practice pastoralism, and their rangelands cover an estimated 60% of the country*.

The two largest pastoralist groups are the Afar, who live in the north east and in neighbouring Eritrea and Djibouti, and the Somali, who occupy the huge Somali region in the south of the country, as well as Somalia/Somaliland and sections of northern Kenya.

*Data from Mussa, Mohammed, 2004, "Case Study for the Pastoral Affairs Standing Committee of Ethiopia", NRI/PENHA with DFID and CAPE Unit of the AU

Ethiopia: Country profile

Population: 84.7 million

Agro-pastoralist population: 15%

Total Surface area: 1,104,300 Km2

Land occupy by Pastoralist: 60%

Livestock population:  

HDI: 0.383