Consolidating Africa’s leading role on refugees


The foundation for Africa’s generosity in hosting large numbers of refugees lies in the 1969 Organization of African Unity (OAU) Refugee Convention – one of the most widely ratified regional treaties in Africa. The Convention has been ratified by 47 states and has shaped the development of progressive refugee laws. Despite these notable achievements, implementation of the Convention can still be improved.

This seminar launches a new report by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the contributions, challenges and prospects of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention. The report marks the African Union’s 2019 theme on refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, and the 50th anniversary of the Convention.

This event is hosted jointly by the ISS and the UNHCR.

Chair: Olabisi Dare, Head, Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees and Displaced Persons Division, Department of Political Affairs, AU


Khabele Matlosa, Director, Department of Political Affairs, AU

Cosmas Chanda, UNHCR Representative to the AU and UN Economic Commission for Africa

Joyce Mends-Cole, Senior Project Coordinator, UNHCR

Andrews Atta-Asamoah, Senior Research Fellow, ISS

Allehone Abebe, Senior Legal Officer, UNHCR

Marina Sharpe, Senior Legal Officer, UNHCR

Tsion Tadesse Abebe, Senior Researcher, Migration Programme, ISS Addis Ababa

Picture: IOM/Albert Gonzalez Farran Ibrahim

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