Sunday, Jun 07, 2020

June 15, 2019 (DIRE DAWA, Ethiopia): The Migration Programme of the Intergovernmental Authority in Development (IGAD) today closed a retreat workshop during which the staff members of the Programme components devised ways and means of synergizing efforts towards the achievement of the overall IGAD Migration Programme goal.

 After a comprehensive overview of the Projects under the Programme, the team devised a tracking grid to capture the projects’ areas of intervention so as to identify overlaps and gaps. This exercise helped in visualising areas requiring closer cooperation between two or more Projects, and unravelling least covered areas.

 The team also elaborated on a Programme-wide events calendar for an optimum planning of activities that feed into each other across the board at times. The retreat was also the opportunity to reflect on the current IGAD Communication Strategy and other communication tools in vigour IGAD wide.

 The Director of the Health and Social Development Division, Ms Fathia A. Alwan, did open the discussions on Thursday by calling on the other Programmes under the Division for similar team building initiatives. Ms Alwan highlighted the timeliness of such a retreat ‘considering that the Migration Programme is probably the fastest growing programme currently, and with multiple development and implementing partners onboard’. She called for a unified action plan that will propel the Programme in a harmonised way.

 The Migration Programme is made up of the following Projects:

  • The Development Response to Displacement Impacts;
  • The Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance Protocol;
  • Improved Migration Governance for Safe Orderly and Regular Mobility;
  • Strengthening IGAD Migration Policy Implementation;
  • The Regional Migration Fund; and
  • The Migrations Statistics.

 The Migration Programme retreat was made possible with support from the German Agency for Development GIZ.

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                                                                                                                              Director of the HSD, Ms Fathia A. Alwan.

June 12, 2019 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today closed a workshop during which experts reviewed the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in preparation of the upcoming IGAD Member States meeting to discuss the document in Uganda June 24-28, 2019.

Experts in migration matters from IGAD, the African Union Commission, the East African Community, the Economic Community of West African States, the German development agency GIZ, and the UN International Labour Organisation were invited to this ‘Experts Technical Review Meeting of the Draft Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region’.

In a brief opening session, the Director of the Health and Social Development, Ms Fathia A. Alwan, reminded the audience that the Free Movement of Persons is in the IGAD Charter of 1996. ‘We started working on the task in 2013 and it is since 2017 that we have been getting financial support from the European Union,’ she said before thanking the African Union and the International Labour Organisation for their technical contribution to the process.

She also highlighted that, this meeting being the last experts meeting to review the Protocol before it is submitted to Member States, experts had to ‘agree to a clear and concise document that will incorporate the comments and observations from Member States collected during the national level consultations’.

The experts undertook a thorough review and finalised the following themes of the Draft Protocol:

  • Entry, Stay and Exit
  • Labour mobility
  • Right of Residence
  • Right of Establishment
  • Disaster Induced Displacement
  • Groups such as Refugees and Pastoralists
  • Standard legal provisions

During the last couple of years, IGAD Secretariat undertook national consultative meetings with all its Member States to get a clear understanding of the benefits and barriers to free movement of persons in the region as well as get inputs of the Member States experts into the thematic provisions of the Draft Protocol with support from European Union Trust Fund.

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26 May 2019, DJIBOUTI (Djibouti): The Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Migration Programme today held a meeting with the World Bank within the framework of the support provided to the regional organisation in terms of the project implementation.

This 4th Support Implementation Mission to IGAD gathered IGAD DRDIP team in full led by the Director of IGAD Health & Social Development Division, Ms Fathia A. Alwan, and the Senior Programme Coordinator, Dr Mohamed H. Elduma, while the World Bank was represented by Mr. Esayas Nigatu, Senior Livestock and Pastoral Development Specialist.

The mission mainly focused on reviewing work programme, agreeing on acceleration plan for the activities behind schedule, and finalising the scope and timing for the project midterm review scheduled for June or July 2019.

In her opening remarks, Ms Alwan recalled that the DRDIP team was now complete and the relocation of the IGAD Regional Secretariat for Migration from Nairobi to Djibouti was effected. She assured all the activities planned for this year will be executed and an accelerated implementation plan was in order.

She furthermore thanked the World Bank for the extra support brought to the IGAD Member States that are parties to the DRDIP initiative: Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. As part of the second phase of the Project, Ms Alwan also pledged IGAD commitment to be ‘more proactively engaging with Somalia government authorities responsible for refugees, returnees and durable solutions so as to address issues of return and reintegration’.

She finally called on the World Bank to agree on pushing the Midterm Review of the first phase of the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP 1) back to the beginning of 2020.

The World Bank supported IGAD towards the establishment of a Regional Secretariat on Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration within the context of the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) in the Horn of Africa. This project contributes to the improvement of economic opportunities, environmental management and access to social services in refugee hosting areas of project countries. The Djibouti-based DRDIP Regional Secretariat objective is to advance the development approach to displacement through advocacy, research and knowledge generation working with think tanks and universities in the IGAD region.

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8 May 2019, NAIROBI (Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in partnership with Maseno University and the Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), this morning inaugurated an “International Scientific Conference on Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration in the and East and Horn of Africa” in Nairobi.

 Participants are comprised of researchers, policy makers, development partners and practitioners working in and outside the IGAD region.

 The three-day conference that ends on 10 May 2019 is an effort to provide a convergence platform for reflections on forced displacement and mixed migration to address the issues in a more humane and sustainable manner for both those displaced persons and host communities.

 This conference is aimed at enabling a scholarly and policy interrogation of the relationship between forced displacement and other forms of migration (mixed migration flows). Secondly, it will be an opportunity to assess and analyse new knowledge and developments in migration management in the Horn of Africa in particular and the African continent as a whole. The participants will also discuss how these mixed migration flows are influenced by the political economy of international migration.

 In discussing these broad dynamics, the conference aims to help in shaping future directions of the forced displacement and mixed migration discourse, interventions and policy in the Horn and East Africa.

 During a comprehensive opening session that saw interventions by representatives of the host country, the IGAD Chair, OSSREA, Maseno University, the UNHCR, the International Organisation for Migration, the German development agency GIZ and the World Bank, the Director of Health and Social Development Division at IGAD, Ms Fathia A. Alwan, highlighted that migration and forced displacement required “sound legal frameworks and policies for the protection and empowerment of vulnerable populations and for enhancing the developmental impacts of those who are affected”.

 “Sound legal frameworks and polices, in turn, need reliable data and scientific research in scaling up responses to existing needs and we must make our response even more relevant”, she said; thus the rationale behind the conference.

 This conference is made possible with financial support from the German Cooperation, the World Bank, and the Swiss Government.

 Background

Forced displacement presents a major development challenge in the East and Horn of Africa Region, accounting for some of the world’s most protracted displacement cases with limited prospects for return or self-reliance. In light of this, the “New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants”, adopted the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) which provides an imperative to overcome the long held view of refugees and migrants as burden to societies while calling for increased solidarity and responsibility sharing in addressing displacement and mobility.

 It is within this context that the IGAD Special Summit held in 2017 adopted the Nairobi Declaration and its accompanying Plan of Action on durable solutions for Somali refugees (with a much broader reach on solutions for refugees and host communities in the region). The Nairobi Declaration is the regional application of the CRRF which seeks a multi-sectoral approach in dealing with displacement and takes cognizance of the development impacts of displacement on host communities and governments.

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07 May 2019, NAIROBI (Kenya): The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Office in Ethiopia in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning inaugurated a Migration and Mobility Governance Tripartite Sub-Regional Validation and Consultation Workshop in Nairobi

 This IGAD Member States-ILO-Workers and Employers Association two-day meeting is to validate the draft findings of the two below studies conducted by the ILO implemented project and to enhance the contribution of social partners on the draft IGAD Protocol on Free Movement of Persons:

  • assessment of labour migration and mobility governance and the potential of Skills development; and
  • recognition for regular labour mobility

 A total of 85 participants are attending the sub regional tripartite validation workshop.

 The overall objective of the tripartite validation and consultation workshop is to foster linkages between research findings and policy making, and promote exchange of ideas and practices among government actors, workers’ organizations, employers’ organisations and other stakeholders involved in labour migration and mobility governance in the IGAD region. It is also aimed at enhancing the engagement and contribution of social partners in the drafting of the IGAD protocol on Free Movement of persons.

 In her opening remarks, Ms Fathia A. Alwan, Director of IGAD Health and Social Development Division, thanked ILO for convening the meeting and for the timeliness support to IGAD and its member States in “improving opportunities for regular Labour Mobility”.

 She recalled that IGAD was currently spearheading the negotiations of a regional Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance. “IGAD initiatives aim to complement continental processes by customizing the continental protocol to address the peculiarities of the IGAD region”, she said.

 Below are the expected outputs at the end of the workshop:

  • Improved knowledge about labour migration and mobility governance, skills development and recognition as well as the link between climate change, labour market and migration in the region;
  • Enhanced network to facilitate ongoing exchange of experiences and information sharing about migration to achieve multiplier effect;
  • Gathered concrete inputs and recommendations to further enrich the findings of the studies; and
  • Coordinated actions and strategies on the publication and wider dissemination of the findings of the studies.

 In order to support IGAD and its member States towards free movement of persons and transhumance in the region, the ILO is implementing a three year technical cooperation project titled “Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance in the IGAD Region: Improving Opportunities for Regular Labour Mobility”. The project is being implemented in collaboration with the IGAD and its member States with the financial support of the European Union.

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