Kenya’s President, IOM, and regional blocs launch flagship ‘State of Migration in East and Horn of Africa Report’

Nairobi, Kenya – A ground-breaking flagship report, ‘The State of Migration in the East and Horn of Africa’, is being launched by Kenya’s President, H.E. William Ruto, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration/UN Migration (IOM), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the East African Community (EAC), two major Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in East & Horn of Africa. The report, which will be launched on May 2nd, focuses on the mobility dimensions of regional integration.
Covering 12 countries in the region, including Burundi, Djibouti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda, it is the first comprehensive report on the mobility dimensions of regional integration, covering migration and mobility trends, trade and mobility, labour mobility, cross-border health, climate change and human mobility, sustainable reintegration, gender, integrated border management, digitalization, and the Global Compact for Migration.
The 200-page report centres in on the transformative potential of regional integration and human mobility for the socio-economic development of the region, identifying trade and labour mobility, as the key benefits.

The report says more integrated border management in the region, especially through One-Stop Border Posts (OSBPs), and the digitalization of operations are ways to ease the cross-border movement of people, and goods, and services in the region.  The report 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 the mobility of persons.  The report also highlights gender equity as a cross cutting and critically important facet of human mobility and regional integration.
East & Horn of Africa is estimated to be home to approximately 464 million people. At the same time, it hosts 8.5 million international migrants, which includes 4.7 million labour migrant workers. There are also 22.3 million displaced persons, which includes nearly 17 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and 5.4 million refugees and asylum seekers.
Migration and human mobility in the region are still largely driven by conflict and political instability, poverty and high unemployment, and more frequently, climate change and natural disasters. But increasingly countries in the region are recognising the importance of the mobility dimensions of regional integration to enhance socio-economic benefits. This is confirmed by recently observed trends such as the Democratic Republic of Congo joining the EAC, and Somalia currently being consider for EAC membership, and finally the recent agreement between Kenya and Eritrea to mutually waive visa requirements.
These developments confirm the strong linkages between regional integration and human mobility and the potential for realising their respective developmental benefits.
The report also takes stock of achievements and challenges in advancing regional integration and human mobility in the region. It makes policy proposals for consideration by governments, EAC, IGAD, and other partners, to advance human mobility that is safe, orderly, and regular, and contributes to the socio-economic development and regional integration.
If countries in the region implement the findings and policy suggestions of the report, they could advance their joint effort to enhance regional integration and human mobility. In light of this, the report includes policy suggestions that call for better coordination mechanism between trade and human mobility to enhance labour market information systems, to enhance 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.
Countries like Kenya play a major role in championing the agenda of regional integration and its mobility dimensions in the region and in Africa. Regional integration, including the full actualization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and creation of job opportunities for Kenyans are among the priorities of the Government of Kenya and other governments in the region.
“I appreciate all the wonderful contributions of EAC, IGAD and IOM, the authors, as well as the entire editorial team for the work that has made the ‘State of Migration in East and Horn of Africa Report’ such an authoritative and informative publication. This report is a highly welcome accomplishment, which will go a long way to fill the knowledge gap in the domain of regional integration in general and its human mobility dimensions in particular. 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. 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. The State of Migration report in the East and Horn of Africa furnishes invaluable analysis of regional strategies to address this issue, yielding insightful perspectives on enhancing our capacities to meet this challenge." H.E President William Ruto, Republic of Kenya. 
"IGAD is very much pleased to partner with IOM and EAC in producing ‘The State of Migration in East and Horn of Africa Report’. The report highlights the works of IGAD and its Member States on migration management and in advancing the IGAD vision of an integrated region. We will work towards supporting our member states and our specialized institutions to consider the policy suggestions and recommendations the report has made”. H.E Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Executive Secretary of IGAD.  
“The East African Community is honored to have leveraged its skills, capacities, and resources together with IOM and IGAD to produce this flagship report, ‘The State of Migration in East and Horn of Africa’. I am convinced that it’s a timely and useful contribution to policymaking and will help to implement EAC Common Market Protocol, and advance regional integration and its mobility dimensions. One people one destiny”.  Dr. Peter Mutuku Mathuki, Secretary General, EAC.
“The upcoming 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.
‘The State of Migration in East & Horn of Africa Report’ will be launched in Nairobi, Kenya.
For further information and media enquiries please contact:

Yvonne Ndege, Regional Head of Communication, IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa. Email: or or call +254 797 735 977

Janet A. Adongo, Media and Communication Officer, IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa. Email: or call +254 722 750 153

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