An African worker. A pilot flagship program aims to create labor mobility across Africa for better coordination of the workforce in the region. Photo by: Jonathan Ernst / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

The African Development Bank has announced its support for a pilot flagship program onintra-African talent mobility at the recently concluded Global Forum on Migration and Development held in Mauritius.

Considered a product of this year’s Mauritian chairmanship of the forum, the program aims to create a framework on labor mobility across Africa for better coordination of the regional workforce and to address the disparity between the needs and demands of the labor market.

The talent mobility program is in line with AfDB’s draft human capital development strategy, which states that the bank will promote frameworks that will facilitate labor and capital movement. Interventions will be tailored “with regionalism in mind” to enable people to move and “explore trade opportunities and markets.” Africa is said to be the global lead in south-south migration, with 81 percent of African migrants living in other African countries.

Held in Africa for the first time, this year’s forum centered on “enhancing the human development of migrants and their contribution to the development of communities and states,” specifically on labor mobility, beyond-the border-skills and jobs for the African youth.

“Migration is the mega-trend of the 21st century,” said William Lacy Swing, director general at the International Organization for Migration. Peter Sutherland, the U.N. secretary-general’s special representative for migration and development, agrees. Sutherland challenged around 190 forum delegates to bring “concrete proposals” to address the “growing importance of the linkages between migration and development” when they convene next year for the U.N. High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.

Among other takeaways from this year’s forum are the AfDB’s Migration and Development Fund for the for the promotion of local initiatives optimizing funds transfer and remittances, and the launch of the Checklist to Protect and Support Domestic Workers.

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About the author

  • Adrienne Valdez

    Adrienne Valdez is a former staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.

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