The summit meeting will be held under the theme: “The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa”.
The opening ceremony features speeches by president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, Chairperson of AU, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, and other personalities.
The summiteers will discuss several issues related to climate change, displaced persons, conflicts resolution and migration in the continent.
The African Heads of State will look into African innovative mechanisms to address the underlying causes of migrations, notably natural disasters and extreme weather events.
One of such innovative mechanisms is the African Risk Capacity (ARC) Agency, a Specialized Agency of the AU, which was established in 2012 to help Member States better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and other natural disasters, thereby protecting the food security and livelihoods of their most vulnerable populations.
Historically, migration in the African continent has been caused by political instability, civil insecurity, and poverty. But in recent times, migration is accelerated by the negative impacts of climate change.
Between 2008 and 2015, an average of 26 million people was displaced annually by climate or weather-related disasters.
In 2016, an estimated 1.1 million people were displaced by sudden on-set natural hazards. The increasing frequency of droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events means that migration is expected to grow further. These intersecting climate and migration trends in Africa increase the vulnerability of the poor populations, namely the smallholder farmers that rely on subsistence, rain-fed agriculture and that form the backbone of African economies.