The African Union Commission in collaboration with Member States, and Statistics Sweden has launched the third edition of the labour migration statistics report in Africa, under the Joint Programme on Labour Migration Governance for Development and Integration (JLMP).
The report launched with the cooperation of Regional Economic Communities, International Labour Organisation (ILO), and International Organisation of Migration (IOM) was launched to coincide with the African Statistics Day on November 18th, 2021.
The key highlights of the report obtained by the Ghana News Agency in Tema revealed that efforts to bridge some of the data gaps from the previous edition by availing data from additional data sources, improved chapter on social protection, remittance, and other additional characteristics of migrant workers.
During the launch, some of the best practices leading to the production of a better report with more enriched data were highlighted and some of the key challenges and data gaps experienced during the collection of labour migration data for the third edition of the report.
Mr Sabelo Mbokazi, Head of Labour, Employment and Migration Division at the Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, AU Commission informed the delegates that the production of these report series has greatly improved the availability of labour migration statistics in the continent.
He emphasized that with available evidence from the report, intra-regional migratory movements took prevalence in the continent as compared to outside the continent.
Mr. Mbokazi said with this increased migratory movements, labour migration was a priority thematic area that required high quality, and up to date labour migration data for evidence-based policy making.
He also pointed out that harmonisation of key definitions, concepts, methodologies and tools was another key priority area of concern for the Africa Union Commission.
Recognizing the importance of driving policy discourse with data and evidence-based knowledge, the AU Commission had operationalized some key strategies.
They are the Pan Africa Statistics Institute (STATAFRIC) in Tunis, Tunisia, the Africa Migration observatory (AMO) in Rabat, Morocco, the Africa Migration Research Centre in Bamako, Mali, and the Continental Operation Center in Khartoum, Sudan to support Member States in the production.
It also identified harmonization, and research of migration statistics in different migration thematic areas including; labour migration, human trafficking, regular and irregular migration among others.
Mr. Mbokazi noted that “These institutions in collaboration with the JLMP look forward to putting measures in place to harmonise data in the continent and make it comparable across the board”.
Mr. Jason Theede, IOM Senior Regional Labour Mobility and Human Development Specialist, IOM Regional Office for Southern Africa said the production of the third edition of the report is a big millstone and an indication to the improvement of the labour migration data in the continent.
He added that, “the complexities and dynamics of labour migration have changed significantly resulting to diverse migratory movements that needed to be captured and reported in a timely manner to understand the current migratory trends.
This means that each edition of the labour migration statistics report needed to capture trends to reflect the current situation with more targeted policies and better decision making”.
Ms. Ulla Andrén, from the Embassy of Sweden, Ethiopia emphasized that Sweden would continue to support the JLMP project to reinforce good quality of Migration data and statistics as they are essential for better migration management.
On behalf of the Statistician-General of South Africa, Ms. Nozipho Shabalala welcomed the launch of the report and said, “Labour migration statistics is part of the move towards the realisation of political and policy instruments on the movement of people, the integration of Africa and the promotion of social and economic development in the African continent”.
According to Ms. Nozipho, South Africa plans to include a migration module in the Labour Force Survey to broaden the understanding of labour migration. This will allow South Africa to report on labour migration indicators on an annual basis.
Mr. Brian Okengo, Statistician at the AU Labour, Employment and Migration Division presented an overview of the key findings from the report.
The AU Commission encouraged all stakeholders to provide support in bridging the data gaps to avail quality and to update data for the production of the 4th Edition of the Labour Migration Statistics Report.