Oxford Martin School Roundtable talk - 'City of thorns: how should we deal with the refugee crisis' with Ben Rawlence

Past Event

05 April 2016, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Oxfam East Africa New arrivals wait to get processed
© By Oxfam East Africa (New arrivals wait to get processed) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This debate is part of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival 2016, the Oxford Martin School is the Festival Ideas Partner

The debate is one of two Oxford Martin School Roundtable Talks and will be chaired by the director of Oxford Martin School, Professor Ian Goldin.

Author Ben Rawlence tells the harrowing stories of individuals who have sought sanctuary in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp and joins a panel discussion on what our politicians need to do to end the refugee crisis.

This is a ticketed event and the tickets are £12. For more information and to purchase a ticket please visit this website: http://www.wegottickets.com/oxfordliteraryfestival/event/345694

About the speakers

Professor Ian Goldin is Director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford; Professor of Globalisation and Development; and Professorial Fellow at Balliol College. Ian was until 2006 Vice President of the World Bank and the Bank Group’s Director of Policy. Prior to 2001 Ian was Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and Economic Adviser to President Nelson Mandela. Previously, Ian was Principal Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Head of Programs at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris.

Professor Goldin has a BA and BSc from the University of Cape Town, an MSc from the London School of Economics, an MA and Doctorate from the University of Oxford and an AMP from INSEAD. The latest of his 19 books are The Butterfly Defect: How globalization creates systemic risks and what to do about it (Princeton University Press, 2014) and Is the Planet Full? (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Ian has been knighted by the French Government and nominated Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. He serves as an advisor to governments and as an independent non-executive director for a number of listed companies. His non-profit engagements include as a Trustee of Comic Relief, the Overseas Development Institute and other charities. His speaking engagements include to the Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum for the past 19 years, TED conferences, the Microsoft Annual CEO Forum, Clinton Global Initiative and numerous other leadership, university, literary and other events in over 50 countries.

Ben Rawlence is a writer who studied at the School of African and Oriental Studies in London. He has worked for the Social Science Research Council in the USA, the Liberal Democrats in the UK and the Civic United Front in Tanzania. His writing appears in many national newspapers and magazines.

He is also the author of Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa’s Deadliest War (Oneworld, 2013), Rawlence was from 2006 to 2013 a researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW) in the Africa division, covering at different times the Horn of Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zanzibar for the organization. He has also worked as an adviser to the Civic United Front, a Tanzanian opposition party and as a foreign affairs adviser to the Liberal Democrats in the UK Parliament.

Rawlence holds a BA in Swahili and History from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago.

About the book

To the charity workers, Dadaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a 'nursery for terrorists'; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort. Situated hundreds of miles from any other settlement, in the midst of the inhospitable desert of northern Kenya where only thorn bushes grow, Dadaab is a city like no other. Its buildings are made from mud, sticks or plastic, its entire economy is grey, and its citizens survive on rations and luck. Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land, getting to know many of those who have come there seeking sanctuary. Among them are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education. In City of Thorns, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.