First Study of Human Mobility on Regional Integration in the East and Horn of Africa Released

A woman entrepreneur displays her merchandise during the December 2022 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Forum in Kampala. Photo: Filbert Rweyemamu. 

Nairobi, Kenya – Kenya’s government, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the East African Community (EAC), has launched the first comprehensive study on mobility dimensions of regional integration in the East and Horn of Africa.  

The report, ‘The State of Migration in the East and Horn of Africa’ covering the 12 countries1 in the region, says regional integration and human mobility will advance socio-economic development, and identifies trade and labour mobility, as the key benefits.  

By identifying good practices, the report underscores the agency of countries in the region to advance integration and human mobility. It sets out that more integrated border management, especially through One-Stop Border Posts (OSBPs), and the digitalization of various processes, ease the movement of people, goods and services.  It further highlights that access to health remains an essential part of ensuring cross-border movement is safe, and that climate change plays a major role in reshaping mobility.  The report also highlights gender equity as a cross-cutting and critically important facet of advancing the human rights of women as well as human mobility and regional integration.  

These developments confirm the strong linkages between regional integration and human mobility and the potential for realizing their respective developmental benefits. As such, it challenges the negative narratives around migration, and it could help shine the spotlight on these drivers of sustainable development in preparation for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development taking place in New York in July. 

The report also makes policy proposals which when implemented could advance efforts towards these objectives. These include better coordination mechanisms between trade and human mobility to enhance labour market information systems, to facilitate labour mobility movements, and to reduce the costs of roaming and communications to boost cross-border communications, which is critical for facilitating human mobility, goods, and services. 

“As our global population continues to surge and the climate crisis persists, a significant number of individuals will inevitably be compelled to seek refuge from peril and poverty, in pursuit of safety and prosperity. This report furnishes invaluable analysis of regional strategies to address this issue, yielding insightful perspectives on enhancing our capacities to meet this challenge." H.E William Ruto, President of Kenya.   

“I therefore invite relevant policymakers in the region to use the report’s analysis and recommendations to inform their policymaking and implementation efforts to advance the critical element of human mobility, as well as its broader context of regional integration. Both of these agendas matter and must be understood in conjunction and pursued simultaneously.”  

"IGAD is very much pleased to partner with IOM and EAC in producing the report. It highlights the work of IGAD on migration management and in advancing the IGAD vision of an integrated region” Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, Executive Secretary, IGAD. 

“The EAC is honoured to have leveraged its skills, capacities, and resources together with IOM and IGAD to produce this Flagship Report. I’m convinced that it’s a timely and useful contribution to policymaking and will advance regional integration and its mobility dimensions” Dr. Peter Mutuku Mathuki, Secretary General, EAC. 

“This report provides contemporary thinking on the mobility dimension of regional integration and serves as an intellectual compass for defining the future policy agenda of the Regional Economic Communities and governments. Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for the East and Horn Africa.   


For further information please contact: 


Yvonne Ndege, Email:, Tel: +254 797 735 977  

Janet A. Adongo, Email:, Tel +254 722 750 153 

1 Burundi, Djibouti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda 


SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth