West African States Meet to Discuss Regional Challenges on Migration towards Global Compact for Migration

Capacity Building, Global Compact, Global Compact on Migration

Accra – High level experts and government officials from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, IOM, the UN Migration Agency and other organizations convened this week (12-14 September) in Accra, Ghana for the Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) meeting to discuss common migration issues and recommendations towards the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

“I am convinced that this meeting will enrich the consensus on migration management, address the complexities of migration and lead to recommendations,” said Henry Quartey, Deputy Minister for the Interior in Ghana.

Some of the recommendations of the inter-state consultations were: implement all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from a migration perspective; educate the youth on their human rights; open effective and accessible regular migration channels; foster interstate economic and political cooperation; increase advocacy and awareness on the benefits of labour migration; and improve date collection on remittances.

“Given the high mobility that exists within West Africa, the MIDWA gives ECOWAS the opportunity to speak with one voice to inject its views and that of its Member States into the GCM deliberations. IOM will support ECOWAS and the respective governments in addressing the ever-increasing migration challenges,” mentioned Sophie Nonnenmacher, IOM Senior Regional Policy and Liaison Officer.

The final recommendations will be submitted to the ECOWAS Council of Minister to be discussed and adapted at the next meeting, scheduled to take place in early December 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.

“I encourage all member states to implement the recommendations as well as to study and share information on current migration dynamics, pattern and trends as well as strengthen data at the national and regional levels,” said Laouali Chaibou, ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs, Free Movement of Persons and Tourism.

The ECOWAS region is characterized by high levels of cross border human mobility and migration caused by climate change, terrorist attacks and voluntary migration. Since its establishment in 1975 ECOWAS has played a key role to promote free movement and migration in the sub region. MIDWA was specifically designed to encourage ECOWAS Member States to discuss common migration challenges and concerns and to jointly find solutions to these challenges from a regional perspective.

MIDWA’s annual meetings are part of the Free Movement and Migration in West Africa project (FMM West Africa project), which has a component on intra-regional dialogue and migration policy development, specifically designed to support the MIDWA process. FMM is implemented by IOM, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and is being funded jointly by the European Union and ECOWAS. It seeks to maximize the development potential of free movement of persons and migration in West Africa.

The GCM is a major intergovernmental process, to which IOM is extending technical and policy expertise as requested by Member States until its culmination in September 2018.

For more information please contact:

Tijs Magagi Hoornaert at IOM West and Central Africa Regional Office, Tel: +221 784 600 619, Email: tmhoornaert@iom.int 

Frantz Celestin at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 8141375873, Email: fcelestin@iom.int

  • From left: William Henner, EU Ambassador in Ghana; Laouali Chaibou, ECOWAS Commissioner; Henry Quartey, Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Interior; and  Sophie Nonnenmacher, Senior Policy and Liaison Officer, IOM at the Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) meeting. Photo: Tijs Hoornaert / IOM 2017

  • Participating ministers and officials at the Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) meeting. Photo: Tijs Hoornaert / IOM 2017