Nairobi, 28 September 2021. Forced displacement has increased to an immense scale over the past decade, with developing countries, particularly those in Africa, bearing the brunt of the crisis. Africa currently hosts the highest number of people forced to flee in the world – nearly 36 million people. While humanitarian assistance has effectively supported displaced populations in emergencies, a different approach is needed to engage new actors, predominately the private sector, in contributing to sustainable practices for the refugee response. Given this, the Amahoro Coalition and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, will convene the inaugural 36 Million Solutions: Africa Private Sector Forum on Forced Displacement in Kigali, Rwanda, from 30 November to 2 December 2021.
The purpose of the event is to bring together Africa’s private sector firms to explore solutions that promote economic inclusion for Africa’s forcibly displaced persons and their host communities. Guided by the Global Compact on Refugees and the pledges made at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum, the event will include sessions on private sector-focused approaches towards the forced displacement crisis.
“This Forum comes at a critical time where the number of refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa has more than tripled in the last ten years,” said Kelly T. Clements, UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner. “UNHCR deeply values private sector partnerships, and we welcome the growing interest for shared-value partnerships with Africa’s private sector to help rebuild the lives of people forced to flee and the communities that host them.”
The Forum’s theme, 36 Million Solutions, references the number of people forced to flee across the region and the opportunities to invest in their potential. Alongside private sector leaders, the Forum will bring together refugees and displaced persons, government representatives, and humanitarian actors to actualize a multi-stakeholder Pan-African approach to the displacement crisis.
“Many conversations about Africa happen in rooms without direct representation from the continent,” said Isaac Kwaku Fokuo Jr., Amahoro’s Co-Founder and Leaders Council Member. “We need an Africa-focused conversation led by its own voices to identify ways in which private sector leaders can use their technical and financial resources to contribute to addressing the displacement crisis. This Forum will mark a significant turning point in the way businesses on the continent engage with humanitarian issues.”
This inaugural Forum will also showcase the work and contributions of refugees in different communities across sub-Saharan Africa and recognize business leaders actively committed to the economic inclusion of forcibly displaced persons to inspire and increase the engagement of more private sector actors. The discussions will amplify diverse and often unrepresented voices to develop African-owned solutions that will lead to transformative impact for Africa’s forcibly displaced persons.
For more information about the Forum and to register your interest to attend, please visit: https://www.arf.thecoalitionafrica.com/.