Human Ecology

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 785–807 | Cite as

Urban Sheep Keeping in West Africa: Can Socioeconomic Household Profiles Explain Management and Productivity?

  • Barbara Rischkowsky
  • Marianna Siegmund-Schultze
  • Katrin Bednarz
  • Simon Killanga


Rapid urbanization in Africa leads to a spatial concentration of people with different cultural origins and socioeconomic backgrounds resulting in a great diversity of life styles and livelihood strategies. One common strategy in Maroua/Cameroon and Bobo-Dioulasso/Burkina Faso is urban sheep keeping. Cluster analyses identified distinct socioeconomic groups with similarities between the towns: traditional livestock keepers, households headed by well educated government employees or traders, and more vulnerable groups formed of households headed by females, retired people or people with limited formal education. The household types in Bobo varied in their perception of the importance and the development of urban sheep keeping and their future plans. Those in Maroua differed in management intensity and in the potential to adapt their practices to the urban environment. Development interventions to reduce environmental pollution and risks for human health associated with urban sheep keeping need to account for these differences in the target group.


urban sheep keeping typology management practices cluster analysis 



This paper results from the collaboration between IRZV (Institut de Recherche Zootechnique et Vétérinaire) in Cameroon, CIRDES (Centre International de Recherche-Développement sur l’Élevage en zone Subhumide) in Burkina Faso and the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, University of Göttingen in Germany. The study was part of the EU-funded project SECOVILLE (Socio-économie de l'élevage ovin péri-urbain). We are grateful to the above named institutions and especially to Mrs. Diara Kocty-Thiombiano from CIRDES for supporting this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Rischkowsky
    • 1
    • 3
  • Marianna Siegmund-Schultze
    • 1
  • Katrin Bednarz
    • 1
  • Simon Killanga
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Tropical Animal ProductionUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Institut de Recherche Zootechnique et Vétérinaire (IRZV)MarouaCameroon
  3. 3.Animal Production and Health DivisionFood and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsRomeItaly

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