African leaders are expected to come up with concrete results as the African continent tries to tackle migration and forced displacement, an official told Xinhua on Monday.
“I do expect concrete results from this gathering,” Emmanuel Nnadozie, executive secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the AU’s specialized agency for capacity development, told Xinhua in an interview on Monday.
The ACBF executive secretary made the remarks as African leaders, under the umbrella of the AU, embarked on finding lasting solutions to the continent’s migration and refugee crisis as part of the ongoing 32nd ordinary session of the assembly of the AU.
The two-day summit, which started on Sunday at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, is held under the theme “Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs): Towards Durable Solutions to Forced displacement in Africa”.
“This is the first time that at this level the AU assembly of heads of state are really paying attention to this very important issue of refugees, internally displaced people, returnees and migrants,” Nnadozie said.
According to Nnadozie, preventing conflicts before they happen and policy measures to respond to the involuntary movement of Africans, particularly the most vulnerable women and children, would also be among the most important areas of discussion as African leaders gather.
“One does not expect that there will be results immediately, but the most important thing is that the attention that they have brought to focus on this important issue and the awareness they are creating about the plight of people who are suffering from conflicts and natural disasters,” he added.
Mobilization of resources and people so as to support those who are affected by conflicts, including interventions in the provision of security protection as refugees and IDPs relocate, would also be top on the agenda, Nnadozie said.
According to figures from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, the sub-Saharan Africa region hosts more than 26 percent of the world’s refugee population.
The number has soared in recent years, partly due to ongoing crises in the Central African Republic, Nigeria, South Sudan, as well as new conflicts that have erupted in Burundi and Yemen, the UNHCR said. Enditem