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The AU-ILO-IOM-ECA Joint Programme on Labour Migration Governance for Development and Integration in Africa (JLMP) on March 30 convened its fourth Programme Steering Committee (PSC) meeting that was hosted by the African Union Commission’s Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs & Social Development (HHS) (https://au.int/en/sa).
The online meeting reviewed the status of ongoing projects, with Commissioner of Social Affairs, H.E. Amira El-fadil, in opening remarks read on her behalf, saying, “We have seen partners constantly making sacrifices for the long-term JLMP vision and we are beginning to see the fruit of these.”
It was observed that despite COVID-19 causing restrictions on travel and the scaling down of activities, partners continued to work flat out to ensure projects remain on course.
The workplan for 2021 was re-evaluated, with several delegates emphasising the importance of building synergies in labour migration initiatives on the continent.
Significantly, a strategic framework and a monitoring and evaluation framework were developed and launched in 2020. This will help to streamline implementation of labour migration governance activities on the continent, with clear responsibilities and roles for partners, under the leadership of AUC.
As it enters its third year the Programme is also attracting the interest of prospective funding partners, with the meeting acknowledging the new $8 million partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), and continuing support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) which, so far, has availed $8.8 million to support JLMP.
The Steering Committee leads the continental Programme by providing strategic guidance and ensuring projects are implemented efficiently, and in line with the African Union (AU) strategy on migration and regional economic communities’ (RECs) frameworks and common approaches on migration.
Three PSC meetings have been organised in January and August 2019 and May 2020, serving to launch key initiatives such as the JLMP Priority Project, as well as to discuss the progress and challenges of the Programme.
This week’s online meeting was attended by representatives of partners who jointly manage the programme. These include the African Union Commission (AUC), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Representatives of Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs), as well as one of Africa’s regional social partners, Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) also attended.
Additionally, funding partners such as the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)/Sweden Embassy, the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC)/Switzerland Embassy, were represented.
Officials of the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) updated the meeting on labour migration programmes in their area.
Mr Rabii Sakhi of the Statistics Office of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) acknowledged the support they were receiving from JLMP and said, “We sincerely hope we will continue to get assistance to develop a labour migration policy and to strengthen labour migration governance, an important and sensitive topic in the region”.
Mr. Peter Van Rooij, Deputy Regional Director, ILO Regional Office for Africa said, “…even in this time of crisis the objectives of the JLMP remain particularly relevant for the governance of labour migration in Africa. The JLMP project will allow our partnership to build on the efforts already made and enable us to respond to areas of increasing demand in the region.”
Ms. Maureen Achieng, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission and Representative to the AU and UNECA, on her part noted the progress made and called on more private sector engagement in JLMP to contribute to operationalization of the AfCFTA and economic reconstruction post COVID-19 in order for the programme to have a greater impact for migrants and businesses in Africa.
“For sustainability of the programme, we feel it is important to invite international development institutions including the African Development Bank, the World Bank and others to broaden the scale of the JLMP in terms of funding, thematic coverage and geographical reach across the continent,” she added.
The Programme’s website was also launched during the meeting.
JLMP is a key instrument dedicated to the implementation of the 5th Key Priority Area of the Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development which was adopted by the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments in January 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Its strategy focuses on intra-African labour migration and supports achievements of the First 2023 Ten Year Plan of the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA) and Plan of Action (2018-2030).
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).