SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

Exploring Regional Bodies in Africa and their Impact on Migration

The African continent is host to various regional bodies working towards common goals, including addressing the challenges of migration. In this blog post, we have identified key regional organizations in Africa and explore how they contribute to shaping migration policies, fostering cooperation, and upholding the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees.

African Union (AU):

At the heart of African collaboration is the African Union, a continental organization aiming to promote unity and solidarity among African nations. The AU's involvement in migration issues is reflected in its efforts to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), fostering economic opportunities to reduce migration pressures.

African Development Bank (AfDB) Group:

The AfDB Group plays a pivotal role in supporting economic development across the continent. In the context of migration, the bank invests in projects that enhance livelihoods, create employment opportunities, and address the root causes of migration, fostering stability and sustainable development.

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa):

Migration often unfolds in urban areas, making the role of local governments crucial. UCLG Africa serves as a platform for municipalities to share experiences and collaborate on issues such as integration, social inclusion, and service provision for migrants.

Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN–SAD):

With a focus on economic and social cooperation, CEN-SAD addresses regional challenges, including migration. By fostering collaboration among Sahel and Saharan countries, the organization seeks to create an environment that supports sustainable development, reducing migration pressures.

East African Community (EAC):

The EAC promotes economic integration among its member states. In the realm of migration, it works towards the free movement of people, facilitating labor migration and contributing to the development of comprehensive migration policies.

Southern Africa Development Community (SADC):

SADC is committed to regional integration and development. In the migration context, the organization addresses issues such as the movement of people, refugees, and asylum seekers, aiming to create a harmonized approach to migration management.

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA):

COMESA focuses on economic integration, but its impact on migration is notable through initiatives that promote labor mobility and address challenges related to cross-border movement of people.

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS):

ECOWAS has been a pioneer in promoting free movement within its member states. By working towards the removal of barriers to movement, it facilitates labor migration and enhances regional cooperation on migration-related challenges.

Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS):

ECCAS collaborates on issues ranging from peace and security to economic integration. In addressing migration, it seeks to harmonize policies to ensure the protection of migrants and refugees and promote stability in the Central African region.

Arab Maghreb Union (AMU):

While the AMU's activities have been limited in recent years, its potential impact on migration in the Maghreb region is significant. Cooperation among member states could address common challenges and contribute to regional stability.

Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD):

IGAD focuses on the Horn of Africa and addresses migration as part of its efforts to promote regional economic integration, peace, and security. It plays a crucial role in addressing challenges related to displacement and migration in the region.

In the complex landscape of African migration, regional bodies are key players in shaping policies and fostering collaboration. These organizations contribute to a more comprehensive and unified approach to migration, ultimately helping to promote the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees across the continent. Continued cooperation among these regional bodies will be essential for addressing the increasing challenges of human mobility in Africa.



Photo by Damian Patkowski on Unsplash




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