How can multi-stakeholder partnerships support refugees and migrants with irregular status in African intermediary cities?

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The African continent is rapidly urbanizing. While this transformation has been well-documented, the focus of scholarship and policymakers has been predominantly on movements of refugees and migrants with (ir)regular status into major urban areas and capital cities. In contrast, intermediary cities have been largely absent in policy and academic debates between rural and metropolitan areas. Addressing this gap becomes all the more critical as African intermediary cities are increasingly impacted by mixed migration movements and (inter)national policies without necessarily having adequate legal mandates nor financial and human resources to accommodate and protect vulnerable refugees and migrants with irregular status. Some local authorities have begun to address such challenges by engaging in multi-stakeholder partnerships, bringing together local, national, and international actors. Based on research collaborations of the Equal Partnerships project with intermediary cities in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda, this session explores central stakeholders, risks, and opportunities of such partnerships and presents policy recommendations for discussion.

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