This presentation was made by former director of the West African Research Center (WARC) and current associate professor of Africana studies at Lafayette College, Wendy Wilson-Fall. Professor Fall has in-depth knowledge of social developments in West Africa, particularly in countries such as Niger and Senegal where she lived and worked for over a decade and is currently a frequent visitor for research or personal purposes.

Pastoralism is one of the major areas of interests for Dr Fall who made a brilliant presentation at WARC on Wednesday, June 26th with Dr Mamadou Bodian (IFAN/WARC) serving as moderator.

Pastoralists known to be permanently on the move in quest of greener pastures for their cattle are part of the social and sociological landscape in West Africa with sociable relations with more sedentary farmers even though such relations have always been tainted with clashes over animals trespassing and grazing in peanut, millet and corn fields.

Now those pastoralists are being faced with new challenges: urbanization, growing populations in need of dwelling places and shrinking open spaces year in year out, agro-industrial units taking up huge acres of land, climate change and erratic rainfall patterns…. Professor Fall emphasized pastoralists’ great ability to adapt to new challenges for their cattle breeding practices as some of them become more sedentary and turn into tradesmen, cattle brokers etc. among other occupations …

Many insightful contributions and questions were made by the audience of 18 people including experts with in-depth knowledge of pastoralism and its challenges in 21st century West Africa. 

Photo 1: Prof Wendy Fall speaking with moderator Dr Mamadou Bodian sitting next to her

Photo 2: A view of the audience