USIU-Africa takes part in the Global Refugee Forum

By Brenda Odhiambo

Linet Aguko, Program Director, Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa during the forumLast month, USIU-Africa was represented by Ms. Linet Aguko, the Program Director of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa at the second Global Refugee Forum (GRF), which was held in Geneva from December 13-15, 2023.

The Forum, held every four years, brought together 4,000 delegates from 165 countries, including refugee leaders, heads of state, governments, businesses and non-profit leaders from around the world who came together to address the urgent challenges and long-term solutions needed for more than 114 million displaced people, of whom 36 million are refugees.

During the Forum, the Program Director spoke about the efforts towards ensuring inclusivity in the recruitment of Refugee Scholars in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa. The Program, now in its fourth year of implementation, has a total of 772 Scholars recruited from 27 African countries. Out of this number, 16% are refugees and displaced y*outh.

Additionally, the university, alongside other Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program partners, Ashesi University and the University of Pretoria pledged to support and facilitate access to higher education opportunities for refugees and displaced people across the African continent. As a technical partner, World University Service of Canada (WUSC) will support these institutions to increase inclusion of refugee students, elevate the voices of refugees and displaced people, and facilitate access to networking, internships, and mentorship opportunities.

The three-day forum ended with over $2.2billion pledged to improve the lives of refugees and their host communities. The Global Refugee Forum is the world’s largest international gathering on refugees designed to support the practical implementation of the objectives set out in the Global Compact on Refugees, a framework for more predictable and equitable responsibility-sharing among states, adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2018.

Additional reporting by UNHCR and the World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

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