The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is targeting to prioritize employment opportunities, education of migrants and displaced people in the region.
This comes following the conclusion of the 3rd IGAD Scientific Conference on Migration and Displacement in Nairobi whose discussions were based on challenges facing migrants and displaced persons in the region.
IGAD member states and partners have been implementing the Kampala Declaration on inclusive livelihood and jobs and the Djibouti Declaration on inclusive education and skill development of refugees, and the Nairobi Declaration and Plan of Action with the aim of improving the welfare and livelihoods of refugees.
According to Fathia Alwan the IGAD Director of the Health and Social Development department, there is need for connecting research, data and policy to the social inclusion and cohesion of immigrants which bridges the gap between practice and research.
Fathia Alwan reiterated the role of scientific research in finding durable solutions to the problems facing the IGAD region and the globe.
Alwan said through research and data, the understanding of the complex reality of the migrant’s problem will be solved through evidence-based policymaking.
Research indicates that only 3pc of the refugee population have access to secondary school education, and the hosting communities bear the bigger burden of accommodating the refugees, among other issues.
“The forum is important for networking and benchmarking. All relevant recommendations of the research papers will reach the member states,” said Alwan.
As part of its collaboration with institutions of higher learning in the region, International Universities of Africa have given 150 scholarships to migrant populations in the IGAD region, with Uganda International University offering 100 scholarships to the migrants.
“The programs that will come from these should protect migrants and offer them opportunities. From the information shared, policies and strategies will be formulated to address root causes of migration and displacement which will be better policies providing durable solutions,” added Alwan.
The forum attracted researchers and academia representatives from Sudan, Somalia, and Djibouti, as well as other regional think tanks.