Regional Consultative Conference on Migration concludes in Rwanda
… Ministers call for fast-tracking of the establishment of the Regional Consultative Process
East African Community, Kigali, Rwanda 17th February , 2022: The East African Community (EAC) Conference to establish Regional Consultative Process (RCP) on Migration concluded in Kigali, Rwanda.
The main objective of the conference was to consider and discuss the proposal for the establishment of the Regional Consultative Process on Migration for the EAC as a platform for regional information-sharing and policy dialogue dedicated to discuss specific migration issues in a cooperative manner among EAC Partner States.
Speaking during the opening session of the Ministers, Minister of Public Service and Labour, Republic of Rwanda, Hon. Rwanyindo K. Fanfan expressed her appreciation to all stakeholders and Partner States for the joint efforts to initiate the RCP, which would enable Partner States to enhance and facilitate orderly human labour migration in the region and beyond.
She urged the EAC Secretariat to ensure the timely establishment of the Regional Consultative Process on Migration as a permanent forum for addressing migration issues in the EAC as the initiative directly responds to the EAC Treaty commitments.
The Minister noted that migration policies in the EAC are yes to be harmonised, therefore raising the need for Partner States to discuss various interventions and collaboration on immigration, labour and employment as pressing matters, said Hon. Fanfan
“I implore you Honourable Ministers to utilise such a Forum as a conduit to better collaboration, cooperation, and mobilization of resources to support regional matters through a single platform,” she added.
On his part, the Director General Immigration Services, State Department of Immigration and Citizen Services, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Republic of Kenya, Mr. Alexander Imbenzi Muteshi representing Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i noted that a consultative process, especially at regional level, has advantages compared to binding processes such as treaty making process. It is less formal and non-binding forum bringing together migration officials of countries of origin and destination to discuss migration-related issues in a cooperative way, added Mr. Muteshi.
He noted that Intra regional migration is on the rise and prior to the advent of COVID-19 outbreak; there are long standing patterns of seasonal and circular migration; existence of refugees and migratory flows to the Middle East affecting migration among others. The Director General informed the Partner States that the establishment of regional consultative process is key for the EAC focusing on policy dialogues and information sharing.
Speaking at the same occasion, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon Christophe Bazivamo informed the conference that Article 104 of the Treaty for the Establishment of EAC and the EAC Common Market Protocol provide broad areas of cooperation under the movement of persons, workers, self-employed persons, as well as the rights of establishment and residence.
He said “the RCP will give the Community an opportunity to have a multi-sectoral dialogue beyond labour and immigration sectors which are currently the existing platforms but do not address other migration related aspects such as migration health, migration and environment, as well as migrant development” said Hon. Bazivamo.
The Deputy Secretary General further disclosed that the RCP will be used as a platform to bring together stakeholders and development partners to collectively mobilize resources for priorities set out from the RCP forums which will benefit Partners States’ efforts to facilitate governance of labour migration management, harmonization of labour migration policies, and capacity building initiatives, research and all initiatives geared towards, a united approach to safe, regular and humane labour migration management.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa, Mr. Mohammed Abdiker said the region was in need of a common approach in addressing migration in a holistic manner, creating intergovernmental networks to consult on migration governance and development.
“Let me take this opportunity to reiterate IOM’s commitment to continue support EAC processes on migration through technical advice, capacity building, research, building synergies and networking,” said Mr. Abdiker.
The Ministers directed EAC Secretariat to enhance the Concept Paper for the Establishment of the RCP and the draft Operational Modalities/ Terms of Reference and submit the same to Partner States for inputs by 4th March, 2022.
The meeting was attended by the Partner States’ Ministers in charge EAC Affairs; Interior / Home Affairs; Labour and Directorates of Immigration from EAC Partner States, the EAC Secretariat, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and representatives of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) among others.
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About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
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