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East, Horn of Africa Ministers Discussing on Challenges and Opportunities of Labour Migration


The 5th Ministerial Forum on Migration convened in Addis Ababa to discuss ways to harmonize labor migration policies in the East and Horn of Africa through a united approach to safe, regular, and human labor migration in order to maximize the benefits of greater regional integration on human mobility.

The Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration (RMFM) on harmonizing labor migration policies under the theme: ‘Harnessing the power of regular migration pathways for youth employment, skills development, and green economy’ kicked off today.

Ministers and technical delegates from 11 countries in the region including Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Uganda are participating at the forum.

In his opening remark, Labor and Skills State Minister Daniel Teressa said that Ethiopia has discharged its responsibilities as chair for nearly two years in terms of laying ground works for the regional ministerial forum meeting (RMFM) in addit
ion to hosting 2 technical working group meetings and High-level Forums.

Indeed, in the past few months, the RMFM has been gaining momentum through the revitalization of National and Regional Technical Committees as per the Operating Modalities of the RMFM, he added.

‘As both a member state and an outgoing chair, Ethiopia will continue to commit to seeing the RMFM achieve its noble vision of ensuring dignified and humane migration governance in our region and beyond,’ Daniel noted.

Member states can share successes, identify existing challenges, and explore promising opportunities to maximize the positive contributions of migration for the region, the State Minister pointed out.

By connecting the issue of labor migration with key areas of skills, employment, youth, returnees, gender, job creation, consular services and diaspora engagement, we look forward to gaining insights to propel the RMFM forward, he emphasized.

IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission, Abibatou Wane Fall said on her part that in a region with
young population, regular pathways for mobility and skills development are of crucial importance.

‘The RMFM serves as a valuable platform for interstate cooperation, exchange of ideas and perspectives, policies and practice alignments on labor migration and the welfare of migrant workers. In this regard, IOM stands firmly alongside the governments in the region, offering its technical assistance and support,’ she elaborated.

The Chief of Mission commended the efforts of Ethiopian government in enhancing migration governance over the years and developing a comprehensive regulatory framework.

Out of an estimated 170 million people in East and Horn of Africa, nearly 60 million are young people between the ages 15-24 years old, it was indicated. Thus, the forum is deliberation on strategies for safe, regular, and human labor migration pathways for young people in the region.

The Sub-Saharan African region has the largest percentage of young people of any region, with an estimated 70 percent of the population
under age 30, according to the United Nations’ World Youth Report 2023.

The forum will discuss on how to maximize the benefits of greater regional integration on human mobility in the East and Horn of Africa region, which is home to 8.5 million international migrants, including 4.7 million labor migrant workers.

The regional ministerial forum is organized by the Ministry of Labor and Skills in collaboration with UN International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

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