Africa Leads the Way in Global Discussions on Migration and Development

GENEVA: African Member States today completed a round of global discussions on migration and development, the first of five regions to conclude the 2020 Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Regional Consultations. Co-organised by the African Union, the outcomes of those discussions between African Member States, civil society organisations, business and cities will now go forward to preparations for next year’s Summit, to be held in Dubai in January 2021. 

Topics selected for dialogue during the GFMD-AU consultations included the impact of changing work practices on migrants and migration, equipping migrants with the right skills to ensure their employment, and safeguarding the protection of migrants. These form a subset of the 2020 global priorities, which also include the use of technology, addressing irregular migration, and partnerships to advance the Sustainable Development Agenda.  

Addressing a Closing Plenary of the GFMD African Union regional meeting, H.E. Nasser bin Thani Juma Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, UAE Chair of the GFMD, paid tribute to the African Union’s management of the discussions. 

Al Hamli said, “The African Union Commission has led efforts to understand the impact of automation on future migration flows, tied closely to the focus on identifying what skills will be demanded by future jobs, while ensuring that migrant workers from Africa are afforded full protections in a changing employment landscape. We believe that these efforts will stand Africa in good stead as these issues become ever increasing priorities in the years ahead.” 

H.E. Amira El Fadil, the African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs, also addressed the Closing Plenary. She said, “These meetings have provided a global platform for African Member States to outline their migration and development priorities, and set the agenda on good governance. We are grateful to the United Arab Emirates for inviting the African Union Commission to co-chair the African regional consultations.”  

The Global Forum on Migration and Development, founded in 2007, is the main inter-state process on migration and development, bringing together governments with other stakeholders to maximise the development outcomes of international migration. Under the current 2020 Chairmanship of the United Arab Emirates, the GFMD is convening meetings for six key regions: Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and South Asia, Asia Pacific, and Europe. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all meetings are being held online.