9. Centering the Voices of African Migrants in Africa/European Union (EU) Migration Debates

Place of Publication: Johannesburg, South Africa
Date of Publication: June 2021

Bridging the gap between African and European Union (EU) policies on migration, remains critical in regularising mobility between the two continents within the context of the 2018 United Nations (UN) Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. Despite divergent policy positions on migration, African and European policymakers have managed to facilitate dialogue on migration governance. However, these conversations have largely excluded African migrants, who are at the centre of these policy responses.

To provide a forum to discuss concrete ideas for policy development, the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation (IPATC) in South Africa, and the Sweden-based Nordic Africa Institute (NAI), organised two joint webinars on 26 March and 7 May 2021 under the theme, “Centering the Voices of African Migrants in Africa/EU Migration Debates.” Both meetings provided African and European policymakers, migration experts, and civil society activists from both continents with an opportunity to engage with the voices of African migrants in Europe, and to reflect on their implications for policy development within the frameworks of the 2018 Global Compact and the 2020 EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum. Both webinars also aimed to consolidate a 130-member Community of Practice (CoP) on implementing the UN Global Compact, which was established by IPATC in 2019. This informal group comprises representatives of African and EU governments, the UN, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), African regional bodies, as well as policy experts, scholars, and civil society activists from both continents

This report is based on presentations, key discussions, and policy recommendations that emerged from both meetings, as well as additional research.

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