The inauguration of the African Migration Observatory in Morocco demonstrates Africa’s capacity to be a frontrunner with regard to the new migration governance advocated by the Marrakech Compact on Migration, says King Mohammed VI, Leader on the issue of Migration, in a report on the follow-up to the operationalization of the Observatory.
Thus, at a time when African migration is being stigmatized and associated with binary conceptions, “Africa has positioned itself as a key player in the implementation of the Compact,” states the report that was presented Sunday before the African Union Summit, held in Addis Ababa this February 5-6.
The African Migration Observatory in Morocco is a direct response to the Marrakech Compact, and in particular its first objective, which is to collect and use accurate data to develop policies based on factual knowledge, says the Report.
“I have sought to ensure that the main goal behind the operationalization of the African Migration Observatory is for the Continent to take ownership of the migration issue and of the various dynamics it implies inside Africa”, the Sovereign underlines in this report.
“Another aim for me was to deconstruct the negative perception of migration by establishing a new, positive and objective approach to the issue, while highlighting the human element as a lever for the Continent’s development”, the Sovereign notes, adding that from design, to development to implementation, “Morocco has spared no effort to carry out each one of the steps aimed at turning my proposal to set up the African Migration Observatory into a reality”.
The actual setting up of the African Migration Observatory, which is the very first AU institution to be based in Morocco, has certainly been a first major step through which Africa has positioned itself as a key player in the implementation of the Compact.
Similarly, Africa’s noteworthy participation in the Multi-Stakeholder Migration Fund, which is a mechanism set up to assist countries in implementing the Compact, confirms Africa’s commitment to better migration governance, the report stresses, noting that 41% of the total number of projects selected for funding were submitted by African countries.
Africa has also distinguished itself with 4 collective projects, setting the example for concerted regional management advocated by the Marrakech Compact.
“In addition, and consistent with my mandate as Leader on the Issue of Migration in Africa, at the 33rd African Union Summit, I offered to host the African Regional Forum for the implementation of the Marrakech Compact”, the Sovereign recalls in the report.
Thus, last September, Morocco organized the Intergovernmental Meeting for the African Regional Review of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The objective of that meeting, which was held jointly with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Migration Network, was to examine the implementation of the Marrakech Compact in Africa and come up with conclusions to enrich the International Migration Review Forum, to be held in 2022.
“Another objective was to identify priority actions to make the Marrakech Compact a platform for action for the Continent by mainstreaming migration management in our development and governance models.”
Similarly, Morocco has been designated Champion Country for the implementation of the Marrakech Compact. “In that capacity, in 2022, it will hold a ministerial meeting bringing together all Champion Countries to raise awareness on the need for full and effective implementation of the Compact’s 23 objectives”, the report notes.
In this regard, Morocco will continue to make Africa an ongoing priority as far as its commitments are concerned.
“My country is ready to share information and data regarding the National Immigration and Asylum Strategy, which I launched in 2013, as well as the various measures I have taken in this regard”, the King says in the report.
“As was the case with the approach I advocated with regard to the African Agenda for Migration and in the Marrakech Compact, the aim is to ensure greater coherence between national, regional and global commitments, and to move as closely as possible towards the objective of optimizing and organizing migration, instead of fighting it.”
The report also analyzes the impact of the pandemic on the state of migration in Africa, outlines the main challenges related to the full operationalization of the African Migration Observatory and puts the governance of migration in Africa in the context of the post-Covid recovery and the implementation of the Marrakech Compact.
The report insists that the approach to migration should be imbued with a sense of responsibility and solidarity and that a ‘security first’ approach should be abandoned