Intra-Africa migration boost economic growth, UN report says

Migration, Continental Free Trade helps Africa prosper


The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa has stressed that the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 “will require tackling the illicit financial flows that are costing the Continent a great deal of resources.”

In remarks made during the second Annual African-Union – United Nations Conference this past week, Ms. Songwe said the ECA and the AU have been working closely together on many fronts and as outlined in the AU-UN Development Framework.  The focus lies in promoting sustainable development and the transformation of Africa. More importantly, she stressed, “we are working on domestic resource mobilization, to finance the implementation of these aspirations,” she said.

Held on 9-10 th July in Addis Ababa, the Conference reviewed the implementation of the Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security and welcomed the progress made. It also endorsed the Action plan on the AU-UN Framework for the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of the need for greater collaboration, cooperation and coordination in the search for sustainable solutions to ongoing and future challenges, based on the principles of complementarity, comparative advantage, burden-sharing and collective responsibility to respond early, coherently and decisively to prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts.

“The Development Framework identifies thematic areas for collaboration between the two institutions; it is a tool that both entities will employ to leverage existing commitments and initiatives that have been prioritized in a number of Continental wide programmes, said Songwe. These include the Continental Free Trade Area, the Action Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade and the Africa industrial development agenda and social policy framework.

“A mapping of the Agenda 2013 and SDGs shows that the two institutions are essentially working towards to the same end,” she said and underlined that on key issues such as migration and the African Continent Free Trade Area, “the ECA considers them as key levers for Africa’s economic prosperity. “Faster economic growth requires both institutions work together as is stipulated in the Development Framework.”

A joint and coordinated approach will mean member States can exchange knowledge and benefit from cross-sectoral analyses and share best practices and policies for improvements in economic and market integration, taxation, governance, migration, education, gender, statistics, investments and urbanization as indicated in the Framework.

For instance, according to Songwe, ECA, through the High-Level Panel on Migration in Africa, is addressing the migration agenda in collaboration with IOM, UNCTAD and UNFPA. The Panel is chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia.

“Our collaborative efforts and analyses show that migration of Africans has dropped between 2000-2017 from 3% to 2.7% of total world migration. With the Free Movement of Persons Agreement which 26 countries have already signed, Africa is working to design and implement a framework for migration that supports the SDGs,” she said.

She underscored that Africa’s urgent priorities require partnerships that are fit for purpose and that leverage institutional comparative advantages. “The Development Framework is a step in the right direction; it is the only way the aspirations of the Continent’s citizens can be addressed,” she said.