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In general, refugee camps are enclosed areas restricted to refugees and those assisting them. These camps are supposed to be temporary, and often lack even very basic…
In general, refugee camps are enclosed areas restricted to refugees and those assisting them. These camps are supposed to be temporary, and often lack even very basic social infrastructure and economic development. In many cases, however, they have become permanent homes for refugees, lasting in some cases over ten years. Using empirical evidence from the Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana, this article examines the possibility and the practicalities of transforming refugee communities from their initial undeveloped state into more developed and modernised societies. It explores the role of the principal stake‐holders ‐ the refugees, the UNHCR and the host government ‐ in the practical transformation of the refugee community. The article concludes that refugees themselves can be instrumental in any substantial transformation of their communities, and that effective transformation is possible through concerted efforts by the various stake‐holders.