- Your Excellency and Our Distinguished Host and Guest of Honor, Hon. Said Nouh Hassan, Minister of Interior Government of the Republic of Djibouti;
- Representative of the IGAD Chair, Republic of Sudan;
- Thematic Experts from IGAD Member States;
- Representatives from our Regional and Continental Organizations, African Union Commission, East African Community and COMESA;
- Our International IGAD Partners ILO, IOM, Statistics Sweden and GIZ;
- Members of the Media Fraternity,
- Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is a great honour to welcome you to this pivotal session of the Regional Technical Working Group of IGAD Member States on Migration Data.
I am particularly pleased to welcome your Excellency to preside over the launch ceremony of the 1st IGAD Migration Statistics Report, which examines different aspects of labour and irregular migration within the IGAD Region.
This publication marks a significant milestone in my drive for IGAD to own our own data, so that we can make objective decisions plan and policies for “He who controls what you know, controls what you will do”.
In most cases, statistics usually reflect who is already included in a society; the data in this IGAD migration publication gives us a more accurate picture of our brothers and sisters who have long been excluded from our regional development agenda.
This launch today is representative of the first of many steps we are taking away from the common practice where the design and implementation development programs has been based on intuition, partial data and sometimes, disputed statistics.
This is very important considering that migration is one of the biggest development concerns within our region. Already, we host one of the largest and most complex involuntary mobile populations in the world, with almost 13 million internally displaced persons, in addition to 4.5 million refugees and asylum seekers, plus 6.3 million international migrants recorded before the pandemic struck.
The effective management of this high volume of movements cannot be realized in the absence of quality, accurate, reliable and timely migration and displacement data.
Migration governance is set to become more challenging as we come to terms with the effects of the multiple factors that drive migration in our region including; conflict and instability, drought and flooding, food insecurity and endemic poverty.
Bearing in mind the prospect of reduced development cooperation because of the situation in Europe, it will be vital now more than ever our Member States make available and have unimpeded access to accurate, reliable and timely data on migration in order to make the most economically sound decisions regarding migration governance.
Indeed, the importance of credible and up-to-date data on migration and forced displacement is fully recognized in a range of Global, Continental and Regional instruments including;
- The Global Compact for Migration (GCM),
- The Global Compact for Refugees (GCR),
- The African Union Migration Policy Framework (AU-MPF and;
- Not forgetting our very own IGAD migration policy documents.
In this regard Your Excellency, in 2020 and in spite of pandemic restrictions we went ahead to develop the IGAD Regional Strategy for Development of Statistics (RSDS) with the support of our Member States.
This strategy addresses the significant gap in our region for quality statistical data for effective planning, programming and decision making.
From a practice standpoint, IGAD is engaged in an ongoing intensive regional effort to improve the comparability, accessibility and quality of development data, including on migration and displacement.
Specifically, we are working with our Member States on harmonizing data collection, processing and data analysis practices to ensure that our statistical information, meets and exceeds the highest level of scrutiny and verifiability at international level.
For this drive to be successful, we are relying on the commitment of our Member States to mobilize National Statistics Offices and National Coordination Mechanisms on Migration governance.
I would, however, like to highlight to you that in order to access and use accurate and quality data and statistics in the Region, IGAD Member States need to re-initiate the regional negotiations on data sharing in order to satisfactorily conclude the Draft IGAD data Sharing Protocol.
Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,
As I come to the conclusion of my remarks, it is my burning hope that future versions of the IGAD Migration Statistics Report will sustain the spirit of regional integration and cooperation through shared data that has permeated this first edition.
This inaugural report sets the bar concerning the collection, collation and analysis of high-quality data on the main migration indicators for all IGAD Member States; it is our collective expectation each future publication will be an improvement on the previous one
I would like to appreciate our Member States as well as our partners in the African Union Institute for Statistics, SIDA, GIZ, ILO, IOM, and Statistics Sweden for the invaluable financial and technical support.
I close by thanking you personally and the Government of the Republic of Djibouti for your unending support in hosting the IGAD Secretariat, presiding over our meetings and in particular, taking time out of your busy schedule during this Holy Month of Ramadhan to join us in launching the very first IGAD Migration Statistics Report!
Thank you very much and Ramadhan Kareem!
Download the attached Speech in PDF below