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Saint Mary’s University, Canada (1998)

Pastoral development : lessons from the past, implications for the future (Kenya)

Holler, Barbara Eva

Titre : Pastoral development : lessons from the past, implications for the future (Kenya)

Auteur : Holler, Barbara Eva

Université de soutenance : Saint Mary’s University, Canada

Grade : Master of Arts 1998

"Culture may be said to be the whole complex of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual, and emotional features that characterize a society or social group. It includes not only arts and letters, but also modes of life, the fundamental rights of the human being, value systems, traditions, and beliefs." Aguibou Yansane The study of development, or indeed human life generally, necessitates the study of shared values and beliefs of all kinds, and the examination of their interconnectedness. Religion and kinship are just as significant as economic transactions and the political life of a people. Among policy makers and within some of the literature there is a current of thinking that attributes cultures as the main barrier to development. Simplistic conceptions of ’tribalism’, or assumptions about the traditional attitudes of African herders are held up as an explanation for development failure. Development theorists recognize that culture is an immense factor in determining the impact and outcome of development projects. However, besides the obligatory reference about the significance of culture within the development process until the emergence of the Alternative Development Paradigm and its key elements not much action was taken in regard to include culture in the development process. The key elements of the Alternative Development Paradigm illustrate the interrelatedness of all aspects and sectors of society and have seriously challenged policies implemented within the realm of the Dominant Pastoral Development Paradigm. This paper will examine the significance of endogenous development within the development of the pastoral Turkana in Northwestern Kenya. The paper argues that without including culture into the development process, not only will development efforts be unsustainable but in fact the costs of development are exacerbated.

Mots clés : Culture ; Pastoralists ; Rural development ; Turkana (African people)


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