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Senior Officials Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa

11 September 2018

Director-General Kgabo Mahoai delivers a keynote address at the Ceremonial Segment of the 2018 Senior Officials Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA).

The opening session of the 2018 MIDSA co-hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) was attended by more than 200 participants that included Heads of Diplomatic Missions, United Nations Agencies, International Organisations and Permanent Secretaries/Directors-General from Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Island States.

The Director-General in his keynote address highlighted that:
“The SADC Region has historically been characterised by cross-border mobility of economic migrants who, periodically, travelled to work in the mining sector, and more recently in the agricultural sector across the region. Although the dynamics have become much more complex and multidimensional since the early nineties, the Region is still marked by important migratory corridors, for example, the corridor between Zimbabwe and South Africa as well as between Mozambique and South Africa. These are amongst the twenty most significant intra-regional migration routes in Africa.”

He further underscored that “South Africa is also a major destination for migrants from other parts of the Continent (mainly from the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes Regions) and beyond, including some Asian countries. Considering the potential of regulated human mobility and well managed labour migration in advancing Regional Integration, there is an imperative need to further analyse and study these trends to measure the economic benefits they carry and to allow Governments to formulate informed migration policy framework.”

In appreciation of the partnership between South Africa and the IOM, Director-General Mahoai “expressed gratitude on behalf of the Government and all the participating countries to the IOM, which launched in 2017, in Pretoria, a Regional Migration Data Hub.”

Furthermore, the Director-General indicated that “migration has risen to the top of the global and regional policy agendas and as such, there is increased demand for reliable data to shape and inform the migration narrative. Migration data is key in the formulation of effective migration policies, therefore IOM’s establishment of this Hub is meant to support the collection, analysis and interpretation of migration data at the national and regional levels. Without consistent and comparable data, it is difficult of course and impossible to analyse trends and forecast migration patterns to develop strategies to manage migration in a more humane, safe and orderly manner, so as to reap the benefits that can accrue out of the society in general.”

The 2018 MIDSA Senior Officials meeting is expected to deliberate and finalise the draft SADC Migration Policy Framework from which Governments are expected to develop their own national migration policies.

In his concluding remarks, Director-General Mahoai expressed the Government’s solidarity with the migrant population and join others to condemn violence being visited upon them and assured the meeting that the Government will bring the perpetrators to book. In the same vein, the Director-General underlined the importance of heightened awareness and education on the benefits of migration in order to mitigate the negative narrative.

by Ambassador NKM Seleka, Director of Humanitarian Affairs at SA Department of International Relations and Cooperation



October/November 2019











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