Forced displacement presents a major development challenge in the East and Horn of Africa Region, accounting for some of the world’s most protracted displacement cases with limited prospects for return or self-reliance.
The Kenya Institute of Migration Studies (KIMS) has admitted its first students drawn across the IGAD member states region.
The government’s school specializes on migration. Speaking at the opening of the Scientific Conference on Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration, Immigration PS Gordon Kihalangwa said the institution, a regularly updated National Migration Profile and a robust national migration policy that is ready for adoption are some of the interventions that the government has in place to combat forced displacement and migration challenges.
Kenya takes migration matters seriously. We have put in place appropriate whole of government and whole of society multi-stakeholders approach to secure a predictable and responsible national and international response to migration and refugees in order to implement the objectives of the transformative Agenda 2030,”said Gen (ret) Kihalangwa in a speech read on his behalf by Serser Chelulei of the Department of Immigration.
Housed by the University of Nairobi, KIMS is the first institution of its kind in the region and is a collaboration between the State Department for Migration & Citizen Services, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance in Netherlands, International Organization of Migration (IOM) and GIZ.
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In line with the Djibouti Declaration and the IGAD Regional Policy Framework on Education, the conference is aimed at enabling a scholarly and policy interrogation of the relationship between forced displacement and other forms of migration. It will also be an opportunity to assess and analyze new knowledge and developments in migration management in the Horn of Africa in particular and the African continent as a whole.
Addressing delegates at the conference, the representative of the Chair of IGAD, Gebreyohannes Teklu noted that according to the 2017 ILO report on Labour Migration Statistics for Africa, IGAD had a migrant population of over 2.8 million. Additionally, by December 2018, the IGAD region had over 12 million displaced populations comprising of approximately 9.2 million IDPs and 3.7 million refugees (UN OCHA).
Migration in and from the IGAD region is fuelled by various political, socio-economic and environmental factors. As such, it is practically unthinkable to avoid migration. However, it is possible to manage and regulate this phenomenon. The benefits of well-managed migration and mobility within and between countries and continents can be many. Among others, it can positively contribute to economic development in both sending and receiving countries and regions within countries.”
He added that migration and forced displacement require sound legal frameworks and policies for the protection and empowerment of vulnerable populations and for enhancing the developmental impacts of those who are affected. As reflected in the concept note, the region experiences some of the most brutal conflicts and political instability, fatal poverty and extreme climate invariability, leading to different forms of mobility.
Currently, there are several initiatives on durable solutions that have been applied in different contexts across the region. These initiatives have resulted in various best practices and lessons learnt which can be replicated in other settings.