Supporting the African Union on migration and refugee issues

Project description

Title: Open fund to support the African Union with structural and regulatory reforms to deal with migration and refugee issues
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Member States of the African Union
Overall term: 2016 to 2017


Following the Valletta Summit on migration in November 2015, Germany committed its support to the African Union (AU) as a response to the organisation’s growing role in dealing with migration and refugee movements. Since January 2016 GIZ in cooperation with the African Union Commission (AUC) has been working to fulfil this commitment within the scope of an open fund for migration and refugee issues.

The fund is used for strengthening the AUC’s capacities and steering capabilities with respect to initiating, negotiating and monitoring continental, regional and international dialogue processes and frameworks. In addition, the AU is to receive support in its collaboration with regions and Member States to enable it to develop and implement continental and regional policy frameworks and conventions at the national level. In this context, the fund is available to various AUC departments concerned with migration and refugee issues, the Regional Economic Communities and think tanks. The fund can be used flexibly and at short notice, which enables the AU to respond quickly to changing political developments.

In collaboration with three of the AUC's departments, first activities are currently being carried out in the areas of migration and refugee issues, diaspora, and freedom of movement. Through the fund, Germany is further supporting the AU to increasingly fulfil its growing role in implementing and monitoring the Valletta agreements in Africa.


The AU’s capacities and steering capabilities for negotiating, coordinating and harmonising agreements and policy frameworks regarding migration and refugee issues are improved.


The project supports various AUC departments, selected AU institutions and partners of the AU on issues relating to refugees and migration by means of rapid and flexible individual measures. It advises the applicants on identifying appropriate activities and projects and subsequently supports the partners in implementing them.

The assistance includes technical and conceptual consultations, for instance in the form of studies, appraisals, in-process consultancy and support, dialogue platforms, and capacity development measures.

The project focuses on:

  • Strengthening the AUC in its ability to shape continental and international political dialogue with a view to developing joint, pan-African positions
  • Strengthening the AUC and African regional organisations in supporting and advising Member States on the development, harmonisation and implementation of strategies and policy frameworks in relation to migration and refugee issues.
  • Supporting the coordination role of the AUC in implementing agreements and action plans, such as the Valletta Summit Action Plan.


GIZ supported the AU in organising the Africa-wide migration forum entitled “Fostering Regional Integration: Facilitating Trade and Human Mobility through Enhanced Border Management”. The event promoted exchange between regions and ministries on managing migration. Based on this, the development of a Protocol on Free Movement in Africa is currently being facilitated. Furthermore, GIZ is providing support to the creation of a toolkit for AU Member States’ diaspora efforts, and to the AUC’s strategic planning process for a continental migration agenda.

Additional information