Support to the African Union on migration and displacement

Project description

Title: Support to the African Union on Migration and Displacement
Commissoned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Member States of the African Union
Lead executing agency: African Union Commission
Overall term: 2018 to 2021


Europe has seen a huge increase in the attention given to migration, especially since 2015. Meanwhile, migration has long been a part of life for African populations. Indeed, the statistics put into context the dominant impression of a current ‘migration flood’ from Africa to Europe: every 4 out of 5 African migrants actually stays on the continent. Because of the extent which migration has reached, facilitating orderly and safe migration within Africa is of tremendous importance. It prevents irregular migration, which often takes place under adverse and dangerous circumstances, and harnesses migration’s developmental potential.

For decades, African countries have played host to some of the largest number of refugees. Around 80 per cent of sub-Saharan refugees, for example, are hosted in a neighbouring country. At the same time, around 12 million people seek safety within the borders of their own country, as internally displaced persons (IDPs). The African Union (AU) has a major role in all these areas. The AU Commission (AUC), as the executive institution is mandated to develop continental frameworks and standards on migration and displacement, as well as to represent the continent in regional and global policy dialogues.


The African Union effectively fulfils its mandate in the field of migration, mobility and displacement.


This project is intended to contribute and strengthen steering capabilities of the AU and to improve migration governance on the African continent. Stepping in at the institutional level, the project strengthens continental governance on migration and thus, the scope and implementation of frameworks. The project builds on the lessons learnt from existing cooperation with the AUC, and it is closely coordinated with the partner. The project directly supports the sectoral strategy; the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA) and the political priorities of the AU; the Kagame Reform through established methods of technical cooperation. In this way, the AU’s ability to act in the subject area is improved overall. The project focuses on three key fields of activity:

  • Offering institutional capacity development and coordination on the implementation the MPFA and its plan of action
  • Promoting the upscaling and application of the MPFA on a regional and national level by providing technical support and process advice for adaptation
  • Strengthening the AU's technical capacities regarding its cooperation with diaspora communities, labour migration and protective regimes through application to the flexible open fund


So far, the project achieved the following outcomes together with the AUC:

  • The project has supported the AUC in developing migration policies, such as the revised MPFA (2018) and the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons which aims at allowing visa-free entries and giving the rights of residence to African citizens in other African countries
  • The AU contributed to the preparation and negotiation of the UN Global Compact on Migration, with support by the project. A Common African Position on Migration (CAP) was developed. The implementation of the UN Global Compact, in line with the MPFA at various levels is further supported through the development of guidelines and trainings.
  • The AUC embarked on a sensitisation campaign and trainings on the MPFA to accelerate its implementation at member state and REC levels.
  • The project supports the steering function of the AUC as well as the development of a comprehensive capacity development training programme for national and regional actors under the AU-UN Joint Labour Migration Program (JLMP)
  • The AUC’s and member states’ ability to respond to the special needs of returning migrants, victims of trafficking and smuggling, displaced persons and children on the move is further strengthened through contributions of the project by evaluation and updating of protection instruments.
  • Together with the AUC, the project supports member states to develop diaspora policies and schemes to attract investments and reduce transfer costs
  • AU Coordination Committee on Migration was established representing all relevant departments. It aims at improving the inter-departmental coordination on migration, monitoring relevant migration policies, and communication of the AU’s migration agenda. AUC’s capacities were enhanced through organisational development measures