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Regional migration governance in Africa and beyond: a framework of analysis

In the context of the global refugee crisis, trans-Saharan and trans-Mediterranean (irregular) migration from Africa to Europe has recently received huge public and political attention, particularly within Europe. Calls for reducing and containing irregular migrant flows and addressing the “root causes” of forced migration dominate the European policy discourse. However, migration within the African continent is much more prevalent than migration from Africa to Europe or other parts of the world. About two-thirds of African international migrants are living in another African country. The types of mobility thereby range from seasonal labour migration to forced displacement with varying geographic extensions.

Against this background, the African Union has defined norms and strategic guidelines regulating migration and forced displacement and regional organisations such as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the Horn of Africa and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are involved in migration governance. Regional organisations and migration platforms are gradually becoming acknowledged political players, also reflecting a general trend of regionalisation and pluralisation in international and migration policies. Their actual involvement in global policy processes, such as the currently negotiated Global Compacts for Migration and on Refugees, as well as in EU-Africa migration initiatives remains nonetheless limited.

Dick, Eva / Benjamin Schraven
Discussion Paper 9/2018; Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE); ISBN: 978-3-96021-065-8; DOI: 10.23661/dp9.2018