The African Union Commission Tuesday launched an African Migration Data Network to collect accurate data critical for evidence-based policies.
Migration is not just a demographic phenomenon but a driving force behind the economic development in many regions of Africa, the commission of the pan-African body, said in a statement.
“The recent Africa Migration Report 2020 shows that most countries collect some data on labor migration [97%], remittances [64%], human trafficking/migrant smuggling [69%] and refugees and asylum seekers [84%],” the release said.
It, however, said: “Such data may not be collected on a regular basis or might be collected by different entities or agencies, using varying methodologies. Therefore, there is a need for better synergy for quality migration data that is relevant, responsive and robust in terms of methodology, harmonization and coverage to ensure that all aspects of migration are covered and that no one is left behind.”
The network would “… strengthen the coordination and sharing of knowledge for the effective production of quality migration statistics in Africa,” it said. “The network will also serve as a framework for advocacy for mobilization of financial resources for the production of migration statistics, in particular the conduct of specific surveys on migration.”
Migration data and statistics remain an essential component for good migration governance, underscoring the importance of quality, accessible, disaggregated, reliable and timely data to inform actions, public opinion and evidence-based policies.
The network was established by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Statistics Sweden (SCB), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Between 2000 and 2019, the number of international migrants in Africa increased from 15.1 million to 26.6 million, the sharpest relative increase (76%) among all major regions of the world, according to an IOM report released in 2020.
“As a result, the share of international migrants in Africa relative to the total globally increased from 9% in 2000 to 10% in 2019. Despite this sharp relative increase, the total number of international migrants recorded in Africa remains relatively modest compared to other world regions and to Africa’s total population. In 2019, Asia hosted 31% of the world’s 272 million international migrants, followed by Europe [30%], Northern America [22%], Africa [10%], Latin America and the Caribbean [4%] and Oceania [3%],” the report said.
Currently, international migrants comprise 2% of the total population in Africa, compared with 3.5% for the world as a whole. The share of international migrants in the total population is significantly higher in Oceania (21.2%), Northern America (16%) and Europe (11%), but lower in both Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean (1.8% each).
In 2019, East Africa hosted the largest share of all international migrants residing in Africa (30%), followed by West Africa (28%), Southern Africa (17%), Central Africa (14%) and North Africa (11%), the IOM report showed.