Two hundred and thirty people attended The Great Migration Debate on the evening of 4 November 2015, hosted by the Rift Valley Institute’s Rift Valley Forum, the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation. The event took place at the Louis Leakey Auditorium at the Nairobi National Museum, and featured a panel debating the proposition ‘Global migration is out of control—states must enforce stricter border controls and adopt policies to reduce migration.’ At the start of the debate, opposition to the motion, argued by IGAD’s Caroline Njuki and Olivia Akumu of RMMS, received the largest support from the audience. By the end, there was a significant swing in support of the motion, argued by RMMS’s Chris Horwood and RVI’s Ramsey Beck. The debate was ably chaired by John-Alan Namu, and many of the questions raised by the audience came from university students.
The event also marked the official launch of the new name of the Nairobi Forum, the Rift Valley Forum. The name has been changed to reflect the growth of the Forum since it’s establishment in 2012, when it focused primarily on issues affecting the Somali regions and the Sudans. This Forum proved so popular that it was increasingly called upon to host meetings on issues affecting East Africa and the Great Lakes, and to host events outside Nairobi. The new name—Rift Valley Forum—reflects that greater coverage and brings the Forum events into line with the Rift Valley Institute’s multi-regional coverage.
John-Allan Namu, KTN
Caroline Njuki, IGAD
Chris Horwood, Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat
Olivia Akumu, Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat
Ramsey Beck, Rift Valley Institute