Highlights: The African Union Post-Valletta Summit on Migration

“Migration is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be managed.”

The African Union Commission met with policy makers and stakeholders on migration in Nairobi, Kenya this week to discuss the Migration Agenda and identify key priority areas that require immediate action within the framework of its policies and programs and Assembly Declaration (Assembly/AU/Decl.6(XXV)) on Migration at the 25th African Union Summit in Johannesburg in June 2015, as well as other relevant instruments such as the Valletta Action Plan.

The Nairobi consultations, otherwise known as the post-Valletta summit, ended with a clear cut declaration and launch of the 2016 action plan to manage issues concerning migration in Africa.

Here are some comments and highlights from the meeting:

 

On Remittances

  • Two-third of remittance flow are estimated unaccounted
  • If transfer costs (on remittances) are reduced, remittances within Africa flow through formal channels will increase.
  • Remittances contribute more to income growth than FDI and ODA. Remittance inflows are therefore important.

 

On Migration Issues

  • Migration is not an African issue but a global phenomenon.
  • To deal with the complex nature of migration at the local level, there must be: Resilience for communication at the grassroot level, Skill development, strengthened local governance and cross border action plan for promoting security corporation as well as sharing communication on security issues.
  • Half of Africans who migrate are in Africa. As at 2013, 49 percent of those who migrate in Africa are within Africa.
  • “Addressing migration issue should not be treated like an event but be sustained.” – Sunkira Kabba Kamara.
  • Migration policy and initiatives must be pursued at the national level.
  • If we are to tackle the issues of migration, we need to look into root causes of conflicts.
  • Many people will not move (migrate) if there are no conflicts.
  • Whatever initiatives done to curb irregular migration must be consistent.
  • There is need for more information outreach and organization of a yearly meeting on mobility dialogue.

On Youth Employment

  • Interventions targeting youth unemployment in Africa does not match the scale of the problem.
  • “We (Africa) are exporting labour and we are doing it in a dysfunctional way.”
    – Mr Onyekachi Wambui.
  • “It is important to empower youths in rural areas to break the cycle of poverty and unemployment.” -Teame Tewolde-Berhan (World Food Programme).
  • “Empowering 100million youths over the next 10 years will help realise economic potential and inclusive growth.” –Jean-Guy K. Afrika (Africa Development Bank).
  • “Boosting intra-Africa trade will lead to job creation and unemployment reduction.” – Ms Takyiwaa Manuh, UNECA Social Policy Division

On Education

  • The quality of education is a big issue and it challenges whatever solution is brought forward to manage migration.
  • The role of education in migration is very important.

On Funding

  • “We have picked some things at the Valetta summit that we think we can do at the continental level, bearing in mind that there are no funding. So we will be looking for resources within existing resources (Funds).” – Director of Social Affairs at the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr Olawale Mayiegun.

On Migration and Development

  • Africa is facing a serious challenge. With the millions of youths entering the job market yearly and this have a direct impact of the number of migrant moving to Europe.
  • It is important for migration to have a legally binding instrument and a basic human right.
  • The position of Africa is fair trade that will speak development.
  • “Low or small as it is, intra-Africa trade contains a high proportion of manufactured goods. So clearly if we are able to increase intra-Africa trade, it will one of our pathway to industralisation which will lead to job creation and employment for young people.” – Ms Takyiwaa Manuh, UNECA Social Policy Division.
  • “Unless we change our development programme, our young people will continue in their desperation of lack of hope.” – Ms Takyiwaa Manuh, UNECA Social Policy Division.

Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and Ventures-Africa.com. She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde