By: Amina BAHA
Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, on Sunday presented before the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, held in Addis Ababa, the Report of HM King Mohammed VI, Leader on the issue of Migration, on the follow-up of the operationalization of the African Migration Observatory in Morocco.
Speaking before the Summit, Mr. Bourita affirmed that this report builds on three main messages.
The first is that Africa continues to pay a heavy price, whether from the Pandemic or from migration. Indeed, the pandemic has had a major impact on migration. It did not slow down the flows, but altered them. It has exacerbated the vulnerability of migrants to human trafficking, and accentuated the precariousness of migrant workers, noted the Minister.
Yet, said Mr. Bourita, the pandemic has been a further demonstration of the positive impact of migrants, both for host countries and for countries of originn.
As His Majesty the King’s report points out, the importance of the diaspora is such that it is rightly given the name of the “sixth region of Africa”. This diaspora is playing an increasingly important role in promoting socio-economic development, particularly through remittances, the minister reaffirmed.
Nevertheless, the pandemic has not prevented fake news from continuing to circulate on migration in Africa. However, the figures on African migration are still clear, underlined the Minister, noting that African migration primarily concerns Africa. It even increased by 13% between 2015 and 2019.
African migration represents only 14% of the total population of international migrants, and most migrants move within the African continent and within their region of origin, the minister said.
The second message of His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s report, is that the operationalization of the African Observatory has three dimensions: for Morocco, for Africa and for cooperation between Morocco and Africa, said Mr. Bourita.
Indeed, said the minister, the African Migration Observatory was born from the Vision of His Majesty the King on migration in Africa. This proposal has made its institutional way within the African Union and has been supported by the sustained efforts of the Kingdom to create the conditions necessary for its operationalization.
This process led to the official inauguration of the African Migration Observatory in Rabat on December 18, 2020, symbolically coinciding with International Migrants Day.
This inauguration is one of the many concrete materializations of the Mandate of His Majesty the King, underlined the minister.
Only a few years after its return to the African Union, Morocco is already home to an African Union institution. Because, as His Majesty the King had said: “as soon as the Kingdom becomes a member and is able to contribute to the agenda of activities, its action will, on the contrary, help bring about unity and progress”, the minister recalled.
This is what the Observatory strives for, as an institution of the African Union built around a triple function of understanding, anticipation and action. It serves as a means of knowing the migratory phenomenon, aiding in the design of informed migration policies, and an instrument for coordination and networking, noted Mr. Bourita.
Finally, the third message of the report of His Majesty King Mohammed VI is that Africa is the precursor of the new migratory governance desired by the Marrakech Pact, said the minister.
Even though African migration is stigmatized and associated with binary conceptions, the report of His Majesty King Mohammed VI demonstrates that Africa has positioned itself as a central player in the implementation of the Marrakech Pact, Mr. Bourita pointed out.
On the one hand, the Observatory is a direct declination of the Pact, and in particular of its primary objective, which is to collect and use precise data which will be used for the development of policies based on knowledge of the facts.
On the other hand, as proposed by His Majesty the King at the 33rd Summit of the African Union, Morocco organized, jointly with the bodies involved, the Intergovernmental Meeting for the African Regional Review of the Marrakech Pact, added Mr. Bourita.
In short, and as His Majesty the King concluded, we must ensure that “migrants are not forgotten by development and pandemics, but on the contrary should be the center of gravity of responsible migration policies in line with the 23 objectives of the Marrakech Pact”, concluded the minister, who represents HM King Mohammed VI at this 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly.