Andrea Grolimund, MA
Editing Assistant "Living the City"
Conference Office "History of Health Care in Africa"
Transhumance towards Northern Togo: Effects of a New Inter-Ministerial Order
Andrea Grolimund currentliy works at the CASB as an editing assistant for the "Living the City" conference transcript and she is in charge of the office of the conference "History of Health Care in Africa", 12.-14. September 2011. Andrea Grolimund has a BA degree in Social Anthropology and Law and graduated in 2010 with the Master in African Studies.
Fields of specialisation in research and/or teaching
Andrea Grolimund is currently teaching the reading course "Klassiker der Ethnologie" at the University of Basel.
Transhumance towards Northern Togo: Effects of a New Inter-ministerial Order. Masterarbeit, Universität Basel, 2010.
Every year, Sahelian mobile pastoralists from the ethnic group of the Fulbe arrive in Togo. They conduct transhumance, a form of pastoralism where the movement happens seasonally between the home base and a second definite place to stay. Because of the West African Union ECOWAS that stipulates free movement between the member states, Togo, as a member state, is obliged to accommodate a high number of mobile pastoralists every year. In 2088 the Togolese state therefore adopted an inter-ministerial order to re-organize transhumance on a national scale. The master thesis looks at the impact of this legal change. The new regulation stipulates that mobile herders must pay a high amount in taxes in order to enter the country. Through the theoretical concepts of vulnerability and social capital and the terms mobility and migration, the paper investigates the impact of the regulation on the individual participants, but also on the social interaction of the community. In addition, this paper examines the application of the order; hereby it also looks at the supersession of the regional legal system. The results of the study show that the new legal regulation may not conform to the agreements of the ECOWAS. However, this eventual infraction could be justified by Togo as a protection of the country's own resources. Due to the legal change, the mobile pastoralists did not arrive in large numbers as in the foregoing years and many of those who arrived anyway avoided registration at the prefecture. In consequence, the revenue of the prefectures was less. However, a decrease of conflicts was recorded. In terms of social interaction the study shows that the mobile pastoralists have a big network in which they move during their change of base. Through their connectedness with the settled Fulbe in Togo as well as with their family members at home, they are able to develop strategies to cope with new situations - for example, with the legal change. One of these strategies is the use of mobile phones. Another strategy is to stay in the border region where state control is weak. Through their mobile way of life, they are very flexible and can adapt quickly to new situations. Therefore, the thesis ends with the conclusion that the legal change does not increase the vulnerability of the mobile herders. Instead, it is the Togolese prefectures who are asked to react on this legal change, as the mobile herders begin to arrive again, but often they hide and thus, do not appear in the system where they would pay the taxes.