Throughout the world's arid regions, and particularly in northern and eastern Africa, formerly nomadic pastoralists are undergoing a transition to settled life. Pastoral sedentarization represents a response to multiple factors, including loss of livestock due to drought and famine, increased competition for range land due to growing populations, land privatization or appropriation for commercial farms, ranches, and tourist game parks, and to fear of increasing violence, ethnic conflict, and civil war. Although pastoral settlement is often encouraged by international development agencies and national governments as solutions to food insecurity, poor health care and problems of governance, the social, economic and health concomitants of sedentism are not inevitably beneficial. Biosocial studies presented in this volume, for example, point to greater nutritional and health benefits among nomadic livestock keepers, but increased opportunities in education, employment, and food security in towns.

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