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Press Release: AU and ICMPD deepen and extend cooperation on migration

11 December 2020


The African Union Commission on Thursday, signed a MoU with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) to enhance existing cooperation on Migration and mobility governance between the two organisations. The MoU was signed by H.E. Mrs Amira ElFadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs on behalf of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mohamet, while Director General, Mr. Michael Spindelegger, signed on behalf of ICMPD.

Speaking during the virtual signing ceremony of the MoU, Commissioner ElFadil said the MoU would stand for enhanced engagement between Africa and Europe under Africa’s Migration Policy Framework and also under the Continent-to-Continent Migration and Mobility Dialogue of the two continents.

”I am delighted to note with appreciation that this MoU captures and allows us to engage in most of the elements covered by our Migration Policy Framework for Africa and also elements under the Continent-to-Continent Migration and Mobility Dialogue between Africa and Europe”, she said.

She said the existing cooperation between the AU Commission and the ICMPD would contribute to orderly, safe, and regular migration and mobility between the two continents. 

Speaking on behalf of ICMPD, Mr Spindelegger said that the areas of cooperation envisioned by the MoU are in line with the Migration Policy Framework for Africa, encompassing migration governance, free movement, labour migration and mobility, remittances and diaspora engagement, migration and trade, border governance, irregular migration and information-sharing, amongst other areas.

He said that ICMPD was particularly convinced of the benefits of the AU Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons in Africa, and that its ratification and implementation would advance social development and economic prosperity on the African continent. ICMPD will endeavour to support the AUC in this crucial effort.

“With this agreement, we are honoured by the trust and confidence that the AU expresses towards ICMPD’s engagement in Africa. We are convinced this Memorandum of Understanding will pave the way to an even more fruitful partnership between ICMPD and the African Union’’, Mr Spindelegger added.

This milestone achievement is testimony to the continued cooperation between ICMPD and the AU, manifested by successful collaboration in migration dialogues, complemented by regional projects and joint activities responding to challenges of migration governance while leveraging opportunities.

The Memorandum of Understanding is the result of continuous engagement, informed by the priorities and objectives of the African Union in an effort to improve political stability, enhance safety and security, advance social development and economic prosperity. Migration governance, particularly in the areas of the free movement of people, labour migration and mobility, trade, and remittances, amongst others is central to this effort. The envisioned scope of cooperation echoes the Union’s strategic priorities, as anchored in the Agenda 2063 and in the Migration Policy Framework for Africa, while leveraging opportunities of mutual benefit for countries of origin and of destination. It will therefore serve as a catalyst for joint effort, bolstering cooperation at the continental level to complement bilateral and regional efforts, including between the African and European continents, as formalised recently in the framework of the AU-EU Continent-to-Continent Dialogue on Migration and Mobility (C2CMMD).

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The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is an international organisation with 18 Member States and about 350 staff members. Active in more than 90 countries worldwide, it takes a regional approach in its work to create efficient cooperation and partnerships along migration routes. Priority regions include Africa, Central and South Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Its three-pillar approach to migration management - structurally linking research, migration dialogues and capacity building – contributes to better migration policy development worldwide. The Vienna-based organisation has a mission in Brussels, a regional office in Malta and project offices in several countries. ICMPD receives funding from its Member States, the European Commission, the UN and other multilateral institutions, as well as bilateral donors. Founded in 1993, ICMPD holds UN observer status and cooperates with more than 200 partners including EU institutions and UN agencies.

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