Informal Crossborder Livestock Trade Restrictions in Eastern Africa: Is there a case for free flows in Ethiopia-Kenyan Borderlands?

Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Wassie Berhanu


The case of informal cross border livestock trade in Ethiopia-Kenya border
areas is examined with the intention to clear some doubts on conventional
perceptions and broadly explore the implied effects of restrictive official
interventions on the welfare of the peripheral population. The informal
channel accounts for an estimated 71% of total value of live animal exports
and 78% of consumer goods and productive inputs imported into the area. It
is found that cross border livestock trade restrictions could lead to
substantial drops in pastoral household welfare. In the case of Ethio-Kenyan
borderlands, the informal traded livestock flows rather appear to be mutually
beneficial, and should be guided by bilateral cross border co-operation of
free flows.