IOM and East and Horn of Africa Governments Meet to Discuss Labour Mobility, Gender-sensitive Migration Governance and Regional Integration for Development and Economic Growth

Government Ministers during the "Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration 2022” in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: IOM 2022/Kennedy Njagi 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – IOM/UN Migration, Government Ministers of Labour from 11 countries in East & Horn of Africa,  the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the East African Community, African Union Commission, other UN agencies, Technical Working Groups and donors, are meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to discuss protecting the rights of migrant workers, and how to manage migration for sustainable development and economic growth.

The Labour Ministers from countries including Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, under the platform of the  ‘Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration’ (RMFM)  on Harmonizing Labour Migration Policies in East and Horn of Africa: A United Approach on Safe, Regular and Humane Labour Migration, will consider how to protect the fundamental human, labour, economic and social rights of migrant workers leaving the region and also migrating within, recognizing that while a significant number of migrants hope to migrate to Europe and the Gulf region, the majority of labour movements are intra-regional. The Ministers will also seek look at establishing consensus on regional common approaches and priorities, as well as promoting social dialogue in the formulation and implementation of evidence-based, human rights-based, and gender-sensitive labour migration governance initiatives and frameworks, in order to foster greater labour mobility. Technical Working Groups and policy experts will look at mapping skills gaps and labour shortages, bilateral labour agreements and ethical recruitment, diaspora and private sector engagement in addressing humanitarian and development challenges, harmonizing remittances policies,and expanding financial inclusion of migrants.

There are 13.7 million migrant workers in Africa and 3.6 million migrant workers in the region, according to IOM’s Regional Data Hub. East & Horn of Africa hosts among 3 of largest migration corridors in the region. The RMFM will take place on March 13th to 17th . It is the 4th such Ministerial meeting to convene to discuss labour mobility and migration with leaders from across the region. IOM/UN Migration Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa is organizing and co-ordinating the RMFM with funding from the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), under the Better Regional Migration Management (BRMM) programme.

“Labour mobility and labour migration are major drivers of the movement of people across borders in East and Horn of Africa (EHoA) – a region with high levels of mobility among youth, women and men. IOM’s efforts aim to advance safe, orderly and humane labour migration governance that is gender and age sensitive across the region through the Regional Ministerial Forum for Migration on Harmonizing Labor Migration Policies in East and Horn of Africa and in cooperation with the two RECs and their Member States,” says Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for the East and Horn of Africa. 

The RMFM is currently chaired by the Ethiopia’s Federal Government. 

“The RMFM has great visions and goals which should be translated into concrete actions through the right commitment of Member States, Regional Economic Communities and partners alike so that one is left behind,” said H.E Muferihat Kamil, Minister of Labour and Skills and RMFM Chairperson.

The RMFM’s work is guided by the relevant regional and global initiatives addressing migration, such as the Africa 2063 Agenda, AU Free Movement Protocol, the Revised Migration Policy Framework for Africa, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs 8.8 and 10.7), the Global Compact for Migration (Objectives 6 and 23) as well as the IOM’s Migration Governance Framework.


For more information and media enquiries please contact:

Yvonne Ndege, Regional Spokesperson, International Organization for Migration, East and Horn of Africa Regional Office, Nairobi: Tel +254797735977, Email  OR

Janet Adongo: Email   Tel:  +254722750152