ECOWAS, MIDWA call for improved collaboration on migration in west Africa20 Jul, 2018
Abuja, 20th July 2018 . The Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) in a three-day annual meeting of thematic working groups which ended on 19th July 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, has recommended improved collaboration and synergy between Member States and migration institutions in the areas of border management, immigration data, mixed migration and the return and reintegration of migrants in the region.
The thematic working groups which comprise of migration experts from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Mauritania highlighted this as a key factor which will mitigate the effects of illegal migration in region.
The ECOWAS Commissions’ Director for Free movement and Tourism, Mr. Albert Siaw Boateng described the workshop as a step in the right direction towards the actualization of a regional migration policy.
‘This will enhance the regional integration and development process in West Africa as well as the achievement of the ECOWAS Vision 2020, moving from a community of states to a community of people’, he said.
The experts called for the ECOWAS Commission to provide technical assistance to Member States to facilitate the issuance of the biometric identity cards and data exchange platforms in order to share and analyze migratory flows in the region.
They also recommended increased border surveillance through joint border posts and the upgrade and standardization of border posts in the region. This they noted can be achieved by constituting a common fund within ECOWAS to address persisting challenges on border management.
The experts further recommended that Member States should raise awareness among local authorities, civil society actors, the private sector, the media and any relevant organizations in order to increase their participation in managing the return and reintegration of Community citizens.