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Title: Access to Higher Education of Refugees, and Returnees in the IGAD Region: The Djibouti Declaration and its Ramifications for Higher Education and Sustainable Development
Authors: Kebede Kassa Tsegaye (PhD)
Keywords: IGAD, refugee education, higher education, sustainable development, quality
Issue Date: 29-Oct-2019
Publisher: St. Mary's University
Abstract: This paper argues that access to quality education for refugees, returnees and Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs) is not only fundamental human rights but also an obligation which states and non-state actors have to fulfill. It is also an integral part of sustainable development efforts which will have significant contributions to socioeconomic transformations in host countries, countries of origin and countries of destinations in the event that refugees become migrant, which is sometimes the case. The IGAD region, consisting of eight member states, namely, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, host more than 7.5 million forcibly displaced people (3 million refugees and 4.5 million IDPs). This results from protracted and devastating conflicts; drought and famine and other natural or man-made calamities. Within the IGAD region, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan produce 80 to 90 percent of the refugees and IDPs due to the protracted/on-going civil wars in the two countries. However, almost all the member state have refugees, IDPs or migrants sheltered in their territories. Refugees stay in their host communities for 11 years on average. Access to higher education among refugees, returnees and IDPs is very low at only 1% compared to 36% of the student population globally. The figure for Africa is still dismal, at less than 1%; and the same holds true for the IGAD region. In an effort to address this major challenge facing these population categories, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) convened a high level regional (Ministerial Conference) on refugee education in Djibouti, from 12-14 December 2017. That Conference adopted what is now called the Djibouti Declaration and Plan of Action for refugee education in the IGAD region. The major purpose of this paper was to outline the refugee situations in general and the state of education in particular.
Appears in Collections:Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Private Higher Education in Africa

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