WINDHOEK - The recent 2019 Migration Dialogue for Southern African (Midsa) ministerial conference has endorsed recommendations on migration governance for the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).
The meeting’s key recommendations reviewed matters of linkages between migration and development, streamlining the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in the Sadc region, and encouraging Sadc governments to buy-in into the existing Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) tools.
Midsa play a pivotal role in shaping policy development on migration in the Sadc region, as well as raising awareness on the importance to mainstream migration in member states’ development agendas.
The deliberations also focused on areas of priorities for the Southern African region, notably ‘Health’ in migration governance, strengthening migration collection, analysis and dissemination, exploring sustainable solutions as part of Return Migration Policies, and ways forward toward integrating outcomes of Midsa meetings into Sadc structures.
The Director for International Cooperation and Partnerships of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Jill Helke, commended Sadc member states for their continuous commitment and engagement on migration through Midsa.
She emphasized, “Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) such as Midsa have been playing an instrumental role in shaping the global discourse on migration governance and promoting innovative approaches.”
President Hage Geingob who is also Sadc chair said, it is gratifying to note efforts are being made in Namibia to draft a National Migration Policy (NMP).
He noted it is expected that once adopted; the NMP will bring about greater clarity on matters of migration management.
Last year, Namibia ratified the Sadc Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons. In addition, Namibia has exempted diplomatic and official passports of 53 African countries from visa requirements, of which Geingob says such a move will ease state-to-state engagements and bolster Intra-Africa business and investment.
“In today’s world, migration trends are rapidly evolving, thereby necessitating a shift in approach by governments policy makers and development actors,” Geingob uttered when he officiated the opening of Midsa ministerial meeting on Friday in Windhoek.
The ministerial Midsa was preceded by a senior official meeting from June 25-27, attended by senior officials from member states of the Sadc responsible for migration, labour, and international relations, United Nations (UN) agencies, civil society organisations, private sector, worker organisations, academia and other relevant partners.
During these preliminary discussions, the participants identified key migration governance priorities in the Sadc region based on the 2030 Development Agenda, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) as well as other existing regional frameworks.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila recognised that this year’s discussions “suggest a shift from the notion where migration practitioners acted in a restrictive manner, to a more flexible approach where migration features in the development agenda of member states.”
Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of Tanzania Jacob Gideon Kingu, said he was confident that the commitment showcased by the ministers will be a catalyst for the Sadc region to give migration its deserved weight.
For 19 years, Midsa has given Sadc member states an annual platform to develop different frameworks to improve inter-state dialogue and regional cooperation on migration management. Nine years ago, the first ministerial Midsa took place in Windhoek, and provided Sadc ministers with an opportunity to discuss migration issues of common interest at the ministerial level.
Deputy Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration Maureen Hinda-Mbuende and the IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa Charles Kwenin, also launched the IOM “Regional Strategy for Southern Africa 2019 – 2023” publication, which will serve as a blueprint for IOM’s programming in the region for the next five years.
The Deputy Minister and the UN Resident Coordinator in Namibia Rachel Odede also launched the Migration and the 2030 Agenda – A guide for practitioners.
Tanzania as incoming Chair of Sadc, will be hosting the next Midsa senior officials meeting in 2020.
2019-07-02 09:12:56 22 days ago