Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente has challenged private sector operators to engage in activities that provide solutions to problems faced by migrants and refugees. In the Premier’s call, which was made during the inaugural Africa Private Sector Forum on Forced Displacement, he said engaging the private sector is critical for addressing the skills mismatch and job creation challenges “It is therefore our responsibility to work closely with the private sector to properly use these resources by creating enough jobs for our youth. This will economically and socially empower them to address the issue of their risky migration to other continents,” he said. Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente interacts with Kelly T. Clements, Deputy High Commissioner for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) during the conference on November 30 The forum is organised at a time when the number of forcibly displaced people in sub-Saharan Africa is at record levels. The number of refugees in Africa has more than tripled in the past decade, with 57 per cent of them being children, according to official data. Ngirente said that the private sector can contribute to the socio-economic integration of refugees in Africa by providing them an opportunity to earn decent income. The business community, he said, can engage refugees by promoting their entrepreneurship as their first and most direct route to integration and self-sufficiency. According to Ngirente, the forum should challenge policymakers and the private sector actors to actively deliver sustainable solutions to the issues affecting socio-economic development on the continent. He added, “This Forum is therefore a wakeup call for our collective response to the forced displacement crisis on our continent. Let us therefore use this Forum as a platform to find practical and realistic solutions that will positively impact the livelihoods of refugees’ communities.” Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente and Kelly T. Clements, Deputy High Commissioner for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with other officials pose for a group photo during the conference. The theme of the Forum, “36 Million Solutions” references the nearly 36 million people uprooted by conflict, violence, or persecution in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2020. It recognizes the potential and opportunities to invest in their future. Kelly T. Clements, Deputy High Commissioner for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) declared that 36 Million Solutions reimagines the acute force displacement crisis into one of endless opportunities for action and change, adding that it is a call to people to respond collectively to ensure that every person forced to flee their home because of violence, persecution, or conflict in Africa has the support, resources and tools to fulfil that potential. “But in truth, the result is not strictly to supporting these 36 million. Refugees and displaced people are part of our communities, locally and globally. When we invest in their potential, the return is not only for them but by extension to host communities and the global community at large,” she said. Kelly also asserted that Africas private sector can be a critical agent of change in the forced displacement crisis on the continent. Through innovative business models, she continued, the private sector can champion more sustainable and dignified access to economic opportunities for forcibly displaced persons while at the same time creating value for their own companies. “When the private sector invests in Africas forcibly displaced communities, you invest in Africa’s future,” she added, “When forced displaced communities are given the tools and resources to rebuild their lives, they can participate in local economies, contribute to social development, and wealth distribution in their communities.” The forum gathered Africa’s private sector including business and industry leaders, entrepreneurs and foundations.