Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has called for pragmatic approach in addressing migration issues in Africa.
He advised that African Countries should continue to promote social dialogue and consultation that would foster innovative measures to facilitate mobility and ensuring rights-based and protection-centred migration management in the continent.
Speaking recently, at the launch of the African Leadership Forum on Migration and Presentation of Decent Work Publication which held at Brookfield Hotel, Freetown, Sierra Leone, the Minister said, Governments through coordination and partnership, should continue to work with Social Partners, the private sector, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and international development partners to promote better migration management in Africa.
Keyamo, further emphasized the need for a well-managed migration scheme in Africa to ensure the protection of human, social, economic and labour rights of would- be migrants in accordance with international Conventions on Labour Migration in order to mitigate the adverse effect of migration on the Continent, thereby making migration a win-win situation for all.
He stated that the role of migration as an enabler of job creation and decent work as a tool for inclusive economic development cannot be overemphasized.
According to Keyamo, the link between migration, decent work and sustainable development is widely acknowledged, as migration is the world’s oldest poverty reduction strategy; an indispensable engine for human development; a driver of economic growth, a source of job creation and dynamic innovative cultures.
Thus, the skills of migrant workers are a valuable resource for both sending and receiving countries, helping to ensure the functioning of their labour markets through the matching of labour supply with demand.
Speaking further, he added that the world of work is changing and much of migration in the world today happens for the purpose of work and that migration is now part of an increasingly dynamic and globalized world.
“Today, there are an estimated 258 million international migrants across the globe and 150 million of these are migrant workers. Labour markets are increasingly global and more and more jobseekers are looking beyond national borders for employment and livelihood opportunities. As the International Labour Organization (ILO) has noted “Migration today is for work”.
Most countries of the world, he continued. have taken a step further to find mutually beneficial ways through which Migration could continue to provide people employment, greater human security, and not place them at risk of trafficking, exploitation and abuse.
This is significant because, migration is emerging as one of the most critical, social and economic issues of this decade. Migration schemes that focus on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their welfare, while addressing labour market needs will become increasingly important to achieving equitable, sustainable and inclusive development in Africa.
The Minister added that the potential of migration to act as a vehicle for job creation and a development enabler is contingent on the migration process itself being safe, humane and orderly.
“It is against this background that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes for the first time, the contribution of migration to sustainable development as migration has increasingly being recognized as a positive force for socio-economic development in view of the fact that, migrants transfer knowledge and skills to origin and destination countries, channel investments and remittances, and foster economic linkages and business opportunities between sending and receiving countries and regions.” Keyamo said.
He commended the organizers of the event for honouring him with the AFRICAN DECENT WORK CRUSADER AWARD.