Cognizant that, the bulk of migration almost 80% in Africa is intra-continental, and conscious of the need to better understand and manage the migration phenomenon for the benefit of the continental aspirations articulated in Agenda 2063, the African Union Commission in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with the support of the USA and Switzerland launched virtually the first ever edition of the Africa Migration Report.
The first edition, therefore, seeks to provide additional perspectives that ensure a more complete understanding of this complex phenomenon, thereby correcting misconceptions regarding African migration. The launch event drew over 200 technical experts, government ministers and representatives of member states, officials from the development sector, development partners, and other interested individuals.
In her remarks, H.E. Amira Elfadil Commissioner for Social Affairs thanked IOM on initiating the migration governance in Africa. She also thanked the support from partners. “My sincere gratitude goes to the partners, the USA and Switzerland who continue to demonstrate commitment solidarity and unwavering support. This is illustrative of their involvement in this very project in respect to the Africa Migration Report that we are delighted to launch today. Of course without the authors, who contributed the Chapters, we would not have such a compelling Report”, said Commissioner Amira.
She emphasized that the Africa Migration Report comes at a momentous period of change on the African continent. “Migration as a topic has today taken centre stage in policy discourse in Africa as it is much of the rest of the world. The policy posture and trends are epitomized by the adoption of the Migration Policy Framework for Africa in 2018 and evidenced by the adoption of two Global Compacts – on Refugees and for Migration – that seek to deal with human mobility more holistically” The Commissioner said.
Further, H.E. Amira Elfadil spoke about the relation of free movement in the continent and the effect of the epidemic on the movement, as well as on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the job creation opportunities for African youth. The AUC commissioner stressed that no African young person should risk her/his life seeking for a better life and no African soul shall be lost in the Mediterranean while crossing to Europe.
Commissioner Amira concluded by reiterating that the report provides a status update on the breadth of issues that characterise migration on the continent from which both practitioners and policymakers can draw to inform their actions and implementation of Migration policies in Africa.
IOM Director General Mr António Vitorino while addressing the virtual launch spoke about the key issues covered by the Africa Migration Report and describes it as a rich source of information for policymakers and others who want to understand the dynamics of migration on the African continent. “This report has become even more relevant for us to read in the context of the pandemic, and particularly meaningful given that the lion’s share of African migration remains within the continent. It reminds us how migration is integrated into every aspect of our societies and economies; it reinforces the critical need to include migrants into our responses to the pandemic and other multifaceted crises, and in all our public policies; and it forces us to look beyond the problems of today, and consider where the challenges, and solutions, of tomorrow might be found.”, said Mr. António Vitorino.
Ms. Maureen Achieng, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission and Representative to the AU and UNECA in her introductory remarks, briefly talked about the production of the Report, working in partnerships with the AUC and UN Agencies agencies. She also noted that the Africa Migration Report presents migration policy makers with the opportunity to reflect on critical policy questions, especially in the impending post-pandemic era. “A deeper understanding of the role migration needs to play in an Africa that is moving stridently towards continental integration has never been more urgent”, concluded Ms. Maureen Achieng.
The 1st Edition of the Africa Migration Report captures the prevailing complexities of human mobility & migration from, to and within Africa. It unpacks common accepted understandings and shares the message that migration in Africa is more complex and less homogeneous than perceived.
The Africa Migration Report is available at https://bit.ly/3k1NyNT.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).