Open Society Fellow Ben Rawlence argues that Islamic extremism and the counter-productive responses from ill-informed and unwieldy governments are the principle threats to the development of open societies in Kenya and Somalia. Critically engaging with Muslim areas, issues, organizations, and populations, and developing a generational, long-term strategy will be key to overcoming these problems.
In this conversation, Rawlence presents the case that, as the Aga Khan has done so successfully in this region, and as the Open Society Foundations have done in other parts of the world, there needs to be a renewed focus on higher education and long-term capacity building among refugees in eastern Africa.
- Ben Rawlence, an Open Society Fellow, is documenting the stories of young Somali refugees in Kenya and their struggle for survival.
- Martha Loerke (moderator) is the director of the Open Society Scholarships Program.