IGAD Migration Action Plan (MAP) to operationalize The IGAD Regional Migration Policy Framework

The IGAD region, constituting Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan, currently hosts 4.6 million IDPs and 1.8 million refugees, while also producing 1.9 million refugees. In relative terms, the region hosts 12 percent and produces 13 percent of global refugees. In 2011, the EU received 327,000 migrants. Some 81, 000 of these asylum seekers were from African countries including some in the Horn of Africa, such as Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Of the 31 million Africans estimated to be living outside Africa, 8 million, 25%, are from the IGAD region. 50% of these 8 million people from IGAD migrate within the region, while the 46% migrate to developed countries, and 4% migrate to Middle East. Compared to intra-regional migration in ECOWAS that stands at 93% of the total migration and in SADC 71% , intra-regional migration within IGAD is low due to lack of free mobility regime. The main destination countries are Europe, USA, and Canada. Recent mega-trends show that the migration to South Africa and within the IGAD region to South Sudan and peripheral areas where oil exploration has been discovered, will increase. Moreover, due to the localized impact of conflicts, there will be three times more IDPs than refugees. Migration from Africa to Middle Eastern countries has also drastically increased in recent times.

The Agreement Establishing IGAD, particularly Articles 7 and 13 (i-t), identifies migration and mobility as part of the promotion of joint developmental strategies and the gradual harmonization of macro-economic policies and programmes in the social, technological and scientific fields; harmonization of policies with regard to trade, customs, transportation, communications, agriculture, and natural resources; and the promotion of free movement of goods, services, and people and the establishment of residence. The African Union (AU) Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPF) and the African Common Position on Migration and Development (ACPMD) provide the appropriate platform on the need to link migration to the development agenda at the national, regional and continental levels. What is more, the AU Commission Initiative AU.COMMIT Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, and the African Institute for Remittances (AIR) were also launched in 2009 and 2010 respectively.In order to speed up integration, the IGAD embarked upon the implementation of the Minimum Integration Plan (MIP) in the IGAD region with its correspondent Free Trade Agreement (FTA) at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The MIP is a continental AUC programme that all RECs are required to implement. The IGAD MIP/FTA programme proposes accelerating the implementation of regional economic integration programmes in the IGAD region. Furthermore, COMESA, the EAC and IGAD, as Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) regional RECs, have been implementing the Regional Political Integration and Human Security Support Programme (RPIHSSP). Under this programme, IGAD has been implementing the Migration component with the support of EU funding. Ministers of Foreign Affairs of IGAD and EAC have agreed to look into the possibility of integrating the two regions.

In line with the AU’s continental policies and the Agreement for Establishing IGAD, the IGAD Summit of Heads of State and Government has endorsed the IGAD Regional Migration Policy Framework (IGAD-RMPF).

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