Angolan refugees in Zambia: reflecting on local integration as a sustainable solution

Angolan refugees in Zambia: reflecting on local integration as a sustainable solution

Local integration continues to be an important option in the basket of comprehensive strategies to achieve long-term solutions to refugee crises, particularly those caused by protracted conflicts. While many refugees may voluntarily repatriate to their countries of origin, with some benefiting from resettlement in third countries, local integration presents a durable solution that is often not considered or applied. Zambia, with a high number of refugees living within its border, has long chosen to facilitate voluntary repatriation for emigrants; notwithstanding that not all refugees benefit from this solution. Realising this, the southern African nation of Zambia launched the Strategic Framework for the Local Integration of Former Angolan Refugees in Zambia to benefit those former refugees who chose not to return to their country of origin. This framework is a blueprint to support the local integration of 10,000 eligible former Angolan refugees who have been living in Zambia for over four decades, among them second and third generation refugees born in the country.
 
In the same vein, Zambia also committed to integrate 4000 former Rwandese refugees as the next step. With particular emphasis on Angolan refugees in Zambia, this Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) analyses the implementation of the strategic framework, highlighting the socio-economic situation of former Angolan refugees that make this a viable approach for Zambia. The brief concludes by advancing recommendations that the Zambian government can adopt to effectively address weaknesses in the overall local integration process.
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