The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Office for North Africa initiated on Thursday, July 1st in Tangier a two-day hybrid workshop on migration statistics and skills recognition in Africa. The meeting took place as part of a series of ECA-led workshops on migration policies in Africa.

Participants included representatives of Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, the UN System as well as the private sector, civil society and the media. The workshop was intended to facilitating the sharing of good practices between African countries taking part in the migration statistics and skills recognition programme (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Zimbabwe).

The meeting enabled the Moroccan ministerial departments involved in the project to share their experiences with regards to the National Immigration and Asylum Strategy, and take stock of progress made towards the implementation of the project in their country and provided representatives of Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal with an opportunity to share their experiences in managing migration issues and present the project’s progress in their own countries, ECA said in a press release.

In the case of Morocco, participants examined the draft interface of the national platform for the collection of migration statistics as well as preliminary conclusions from the study on the recognition of migrants’ skills in Morocco, which indicate positive progress in favour of immigrant workers’ rights, but note the need for the country to clarify the definition of skills recognition, including in legal terms, and to set up a single procedure for all labour migrants.

Countries must therefore create a favourable environment where migrants can benefit both their birth and host countries, said UN Resident Coordinator for Morocco Sylvia Lopez-Ekra at the opening of the meeting. Lopez-Ekra invited African countries to join the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) migration champions’ network, stressing that “a strong network of GCM champion countries in Africa would allow us to unite our voices for a positive discourse on migration in Africa”.

Morocco is currently the host country of the African Migration Observatory of the African Union Commission, and one of the African champions of the Global Compact for Migration in Africa, alongside Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya and Senegal. The Marrakech Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration held in December 2018 called upon the UN regional economic commissions, including the Economic Commission for Africa, to support member States as they strived to implement the agreement.