Managing Forced Displacement in Africa: How Collective Efforts Can More Effectively Address the Surge of Refugees and Displaced Persons

Please note: This event will take place at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Registration is required. 

Africa hosts more than one-third of the world’s refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs)—many of whom are fleeing ongoing conflicts in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. This growing phenomenon impacts not only those fleeing conflict, but also the host communities and countries who now face complex logistical and humanitarian challenges. A comprehensive response to this problem must seek to address root causes, thereby preventing further displacement, and also find durable solutions for the many millions already displaced.

Human migration is a natural, constant process and contributes to the development of cultures and economies. But when displacement is forced—whether by violent conflict, poor governance, or environmental factors such as natural disasters or drought—the displaced often find themselves traumatized and vulnerable to physical and economic insecurity. And for those who live in refugee camps and host communities, the conditions are as diverse as the issues that drive displacement. That’s why, in acknowledgement of both the challenges of displacement and the leadership roles played by African countries that host refugees, the African Union has named 2019 the year of refugees, IDPs, and returnees.

Join the U.S. Institute of Peace, the African Diplomatic Corps, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars for a discussion on forced displacement in Africa. The panel conversation will highlight African policy responses to displacement at the national, regional, and continental level, discuss current and anticipated challenges, and brainstorm innovative approaches. Follow the conversation with #AfricaDayUSIP.

Speakers include:

H.E. Soorooj Phokeeropening remarks
Ambassador of the Republic of Mauritius

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), opening remarks
U.S. Representative from California

Ms. Carol Thompson O’Connellopening remarks
Acting Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration, U.S. Department of State

H.E. Wilson Mutagaywa Kajumula Masilingi
Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania

H.E Mull Ssebujja Katende
Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda

Mr. Matthew Reynolds
Regional Representative of the UN Refugee Agency for the United States of American and the Caribbean, UNHCR

Mr. Ger Duany
Regional Goodwill Ambassador for the East and Horn of Africa, UNHCR

Ms. Nancy Lindborgmoderator
President, U.S. Institute of Peace