Africa and the current challenge of migration

by Roméo Gbaguidi

Migratory movements are one of the biggest challenges of the XXI century and are one of the key issues in international relations, both for its increase as apprehensions or repressions that are made from them. It should be emphasized, in this regard, that Africa is a continent traditionally sender, receiver and transit of migrants, because of the great cultural variety of the States that compose it and the typology of the nomadic population of the region. In addition, it should be noted that large African migrations occur within the continent itself, counting many millions of people seeking a better future.

In September 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization approved the new global development agenda containing 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Among the many well-intentioned commitments, the goal nº10 seeks “reducing inequality within and between countries” and proposed in its target 10.7 “Facilitate orderly migration and, safe, regular and responsible people mobility, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies”.

Africa is undoubtedly the region of the world which most needs all direct and indirect actors involved in achieving that goal. So, although the overall projected calendar is 2030 for an evaluation of the achievements related to the various objectives, in this case, things are pressing and concern all. Because in the globalized world in which we live today, and with the continuing needs of dynamically relations, it is not possible to promote nor objectively support the development of the neediest countries without recognizing the importance of free movement of persons and goods and, especially, facilitating human mobility leading to mutual enrichments.

To move faster in realizing this commitment, one of the current challenges is the production of reliable statistics on migration, which should be the responsibility — primarily — of African countries. It is also important an explicit recognition that African migrations are essentially internal and exits to the North, that is, to “western countries” are minority. Also, this phenomenon of migration should be managed by the Africans themselves. They should, as well, through the appropriated institutions implement mechanisms to facilitate the integration of the different sub-regions in terms of free movement and treat human mobilities according to the diversity of these realities, namely the rural exodus, urbanization, displacement, refugees, etc.

*Doctor of Humanities. President at DESTINO BENIN (NGO)