GIS - June 11, 2012: A five-day brainstorm meeting with focus on “Enhancing Intra-African Cooperation on Migration and Development Policy and Practice” with a view to launching an ambitious multi-year initiative to boost labour mobility and skills development in Africa, opened this morning at Bagatelle, in the presence of the Financial Secretary, Mr Ali Mansoor.
Both local and foreign delegates from the government, private sector, technical vocational education and training (TVET) actors, regional economic commissions and the civil society groups working to advance labour mobility and skills development, are attending the meeting. It is organised at the initiative of the Government of Mauritius in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AFDB), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union, and the International Organisation for Migration.
The event is serving as a preparatory platform for the main Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Summit to be chaired by Mauritius in November this year, the first for an African country to host such summit. The main objective is to outline the role that the GFMD can play in bringing within a broader developmental context, the dimension of cross-border cooperation around key aspects of migration and development to the fore.
In his introductory remarks, the Financial Secretary, Mr Ali Mansoor, emphasised the need of the Global Forum on Migration and Development which as part of the arsenal of measures governments in close partnership with the private sector and civil society must take to address the issue of labour mobility across Africa. According to him, labour mobility is a very fundamental aspect within the African continent owing to a rise in unemployment, which is a push factor for labour migrants seeking employment in foreign countries. Labour mobility is a pressing issue given the youthful demographic profile of Africa’s population and their growing demand for economic opportunities and hence all barriers should be removed to enable the free movement of labour, he said.
Among the key issues on the agenda of the brainstorm meeting are the facilitation of labour mobility, portability of social benefits for migrant workers, access to social security in-country for migrant workers and skills development with a view to developing a multi-annual pilot programme for Africa.
The meeting will also discuss about progress made in the formulation of migration policies and the need to take rapid action to facilitate the movement of people; harnessing migration potentials for development; migration and its economic development and the need to develop migration synergies.
Regional migration has increased over the past decades and with the assistance of other countries in the region, Mauritius is willing and ready to take migration forward. The country is also looking into possibilities on how the AFDB can assist in improving policy dialogue and advocacy with a view to mainstreaming migration into development of various sectors namely health, education and social protection where migration plays a key role for capacity building and ensuring service delivery in African countries.