The Common Approach on Migration adopted by ECOWAS member States (Economic Community of West African States1) in January 2008 is a significant step in taking into account migration stakes and coordination. As the various contributions to this publication demonstrate, these stakes are at several levels (national, regional, international) and in various domains (economic, political, social and legal). West Africa’s effort in regional coordination has become particularly important with the international agenda focusing more, over these last few years, on migratory flows from the south towards Europe. These flows, widely covered by the media, obscure the human, social and even statistical realities of traditional migratory cycles which have shaped and built through the integration of populations, the great economies of today.
Migration Management in West Africa within the context of ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the Common Approach on Migration
West Africa has experienced various types of migration caused by demographic pressure, poverty, poor economic performances and endemic conflicts. Historically, migrants regarded the sub-region as an economic space within which trade in goods and services flowed, and people moved freely (Adepoju, 2003). In order to comprehend contemporary migration systems, and current policies in the sub-region, section one of this document places the migration configuration in its proper historical context. It also describes the major patterns and changing configurations of migration in the sub-region. This review of the situation will feed debate on the early beginnings of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and efforts to create a borderless sub-region. This review will draw on lessons from the formulation and implementation of migration policies in order to identify the challenges for West Africa to manage migration. In the conclusion some proposals are set out for the ECOWAS Common Approach on Migration regarding future perspectives based on co-ordination and optimisation of mobility.
The Co-operation on Readmission and Enforced Return in the African-European Context
Despite the reluctance of most African countries to enter into standard readmission agreements, alternative methods of bilateral co-operation with European countries on enforced return have gained momentum over the last decade. These alternative methods of co-operation include memoranda of understanding, exchanges of letters, pacts, and police co-operation agreements, which include a readmission clause. They do not constitute standard readmission agreements. However, they are agreements with serious implications on state-to-state co-operation. The first part of this paper addresses the reasons and factors that have contributed to this new compromise on the complex issue of readmission or enforced return. The second part examines the implications of such alternative readmission co-operation methods on policy-making and shows that their geographical scope is strategically embedded in a broader interaction framework.
Migration and Settlement Management in Sub-Saharan and West Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the last region in the world to go through its demographic transition. This process involves the population increasing almost tenfold from around 180 million in 1950 to more than 1.7 billion in 2050 (according to United Nations projections).
Migration and Population in West Africa
Until very recently, the issue of population/development in West Africa was approached almost exclusively in terms of rapid population growth, which is considered critical to the economic and social development of countries in the region. Paradoxically, the spatial dimension of population growth was consequently overlooked, even though it is known that such growth is accompanied by an increasingly unbalanced geographical redistribution of the population, which is also linked to the size of migratory movements. The recent adoption by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) of a Common Approach on Migration demonstrates the importance that now needs to be placed on such movements and their effects on the geographical distribution of the region’s population. What are the dynamics of West African migration and what is the logic behind them? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Common Approach on Migration management?
ECOWAS, an Area of Free Movement and First Border Post for the Schengen Area
West Africa is the primary destination region for migrants in Africa and has a very high rate of intra-regional mobility. At the same time, the EU is the main destination outside Africa for West African migrants.
This paper analyses the various circular migratory patterns in Mauritania. It sheds light on the geopolitical and social dimensions that govern and influence migratory movement, and demonstrates how political forces act both as a ’cause’ and as a ’resource’ shaping migration. The findings of the paper illustrate how the socio-political context in Mauritania can enhance or hinder any kind of circularity.
Migrants Criminalised While Making the Journey
Following the dramatic events in Ceuta and Melilla in October 20051, the sheer number of those attempting to emigrate by sea, leaving from the Senegalese coast heading for the Canary Islands, is of concern to politicians and has stirred public opinion, in the light of continued shipwrecks and the dramatic conditions under which the crossing is made.
Niger – A Crossroads of African Migration Networks
A journalist (written press, radio and television) and trainer, Mr BOLOUVI covers the entire West African region. A consultant for various international organisations, including SWAC-OECD, he is the founder of the Cross-border Diaries Magazine. Mr Bolouvi is also involved in the ECOWAS Cross-border Initiatives Programme and in research carried out in Niger in March 2008 on the subject of "Migration and Development Organisations in Niger" for the Spanish NGO, MPDL (Movimiento por la paz, el desarme y la libertad – Movement for peace, disarmament and liberty), based in Madrid, within the framework of a European programme to combat clandestine migration: "Programa integral de codesarrollo en Marruecos, Malí, Níger y países limítrofes" (Joint development programme for Morocco, Mali, Niger and bordering countries). This interview is based on the results of that work.
Migration Towards and Transiting Through the Central Sahara
Julien BRACHET, researcher at the Institut de recherche pour le développement (UMR 201, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), is working on the local stakes of international movement in the central Sahara and the impact of the tightening of European migration policies on these regions
The Relationship between Migration and Development
The cause and effect relationship between migratory flows and development for both origin and destination countries is often assumed to be obvious, but it involves different realities throughout the world for which consequently there are no universal one-size-fits-all conclusions. For these reasons, in October 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations launched a High-Level Dialogue. This dialogue culminated in a world forum on migration in Brussels in July 2007. The UNDP, among other equally pressing potential topics, has now decided to make the relationship between migration and development the theme for its 2009 annual human development report. Why? What can the EU and Africa, top-level partners for the UNDP and the United Nations system expect from it?
A Few Questions for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
The role of the FCO Board is to provide corporate leadership to the organisation in delivering the policies and services decided by Ministers. The Board is chaired by the Permanent Under-Secretary and the work is sub-divided into Directorates: Central Group headed by the PUS, Europe and Globalisation, Defence and Intelligence, Political, Information, Change and delivery, Finance, UK Trade and Investment.
ECOWAS Member States launched a process to establish a regional economic zone. In 1979, they adopted a Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the Right of Residence and Establishment. The protocol, along with the supplementary texts later added, testifies to member countries’ determination to place the free intra-regional movement of persons at the heart of the regional integration process.
Development experts and their partners in development agencies and developing countries have generally found it convenient to divide the real world into sectors (farm, non-farm) and environments (rural, urban), and to use different reasoning for each component. One of the effects of this sectoral approach has been to hide the spatial dimension of development processes, which is a crucial one in those countries in settlement transition that are still marked by extreme spatial and social differences.
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