Press Release

Africa's private sector leaders to meet in Rwanda for historic Forum on solutions to the continent’s forced displacement crisis

28 September 2021

The UN Refugee Agency, will convene the inaugural36 Million Solutions: Africa Private Sector Forum on Forced Displacementfrom 30 November to 2 December 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda. Guided by the Global Compact on Refugees and the pledges made at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum, the event will bring together Africa's private sector firms to explore solutions that promote economic inclusion for Africa's forcibly displaced persons and their host communities.

Forced displacement has reached record highs over the past decade, with developing countries bearing the brunt. Africa currently hosts the highest number of people forced to flee in the world – nearly 36 million people out of the more than 84 million forced to flee due to conflict, violence, persecution, and climate change.

While humanitarian assistance has effectively supported displaced populations in emergencies, a different approach is needed involving new actors, predominantly the private sector, in contributing to sustainable solutions for refugees and displaced persons.

Given this, the Amahoro Coalition and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, will convene the inaugural36 Million Solutions: Africa Private Sector Forum on Forced Displacementfrom 30 November to 2 December 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda.

"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."

Guided by the Global Compact on Refugees and the pledges made at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum, the event will bring together Africa's private sector firms to explore solutions that promote economic inclusion for Africa's forcibly displaced persons and their host communities.

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/.

About UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency:

UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people. UNHCR's primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of people who have been forced to flee. Almost all of UNHCR's funding relies on voluntary contributions for its operations to better support refugees, IDPs, and the communities hosting them. For over a half a century, UNHCR has strived to secure lasting solutions for the forcibly displaced people, in the process, helping millions of people to restart their lives. Through different interventions, UNHCR has provided protection, shelter, health, and promoted access to education, among other critical lifesaving programs that have healed broken pasts and build brighter futures.

About the Amahoro Coalition:

The Amahoro Coalition is an African-led initiative convening business leaders from the continent to spearhead the engagement of the private sector in advancing refugee inclusion through education and livelihood opportunities. Our mission is to engage and enable the African private sector to expand access to education and livelihood opportunities for refugees while creating value for African businesses and society at large. Our vision is for refugees to lead lives of dignity and achieve their full potential, ultimately paving the way to more inclusive development and peaceful prosperity throughout the African continent.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

  • Pumla Rulashe, Associate Communications Officer, Office: +27 12 762 7413 Mobile: +27 82 377 5665, UNHCR Regional Representation for Southern Africa
  • Amina Rai, UNHCR – raia@unhcr.org, +254 792 339 766
  • Bathsheba Asati, Amahoro Coalition – bathsheba@thecoalitionafrica.com, +254 706 880 329

UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency: 70 years protecting people forced to flee.

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Africa's private sector leaders to meet in Rwanda for historic Forum on solutions to the continent’s forced displacement crisis

UN entities involved in this initiative

UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees