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Joint Press Release

Addis Ababa – In a bid to improve inter-state and intra-regional cooperation on migration management in East Africa, government officials from countries in the region will start meeting on 12 May for a three day event in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The event, hosted by the African Union Commission (AUC), Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM), will also aim to strengthen cooperation between IGAD member states and transit migration countries such as Chad, Egypt, Libya, Niger, Tunisia and Yemen. Policy and operational challenges and opportunities associated with migration in East Africa will also be addressed.

This workshop, which is the first of its kind for the sub-region, follows various political developments concerning migration in Africa, including the implementation of the AU strategic framework for a migration policy in Africa, and a joint EU-Africa Declaration on Migration and Development, aimed at enhancing cooperation on migration management between the two continents.

The workshop will also set the stage for the launching of a Regional Consultative Process (RCP) on migration for IGAD countries comprising Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, who had come together in the early 1980s to find a regional approach to tackle widespread famine, ecological degradation and extreme economic hardship in East Africa, caused by recurring severe droughts and natural disasters in the 1970s.

With these issues still outstanding in the new millennium forcing many people to migrate within or out of the region often irregularly, the creation of an RCP in one of the few regions in the world without such a migration forum and process, will allow for regular dialogue between IGAD members as well as the consolidation of existing efforts to cooperate on migration issues, and to establish new ones with other transit and destination countries.

The IGAD RCP (IRCP) will also help to build the capacity of member countries on migration management, with a particular focus on the role of migration on social and economic development.

An operational framework for the IRCP will be proposed on the concluding day of the workshop.

Among the propositions is the promotion of a dialogue on migration for the whole of the East Africa region and international organizations including IOM and other stakeholders, and for IOM and partners to support the IGAD secretariat to develop a common regional migration policy that would harmonize laws, standards and procedures, and share information on migration issues.

The workshop is funded by the European Commission (EC) and various European governments as part of the EU-Africa dialogue on migration management issues in general, and the fight against irregular migration in particular,.

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