For the first time, the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) took place in Africa. This year's forum on "enhancing the human development of migrants and their contribution to the development of communities and states" was held in Mauritius on November 21-22 2012. It focused on labor mobility and beyond-the-border skills as well as jobs for African youth.
During a session on Platform for Partnerships, AfDB's Human Development Department announced its support to the Mauritian-led pilot flagship program on intra-African talent mobility. The Bank also presented the Migration and Development Fund which aims to promote and support local initiatives and those from the diaspora in order to optimize the transfer of funds and the use of remittances.
The pilot program on intra-African talent mobility is in line with the bank's "human capital development strategy" draft as well as with its long term strategy which states: "People need to be able to move across borders to explore trade opportunities and markets. The Bank will promote legal and regulatory frameworks that facilitate movements of labor and capital tailoring its interventions with regionalism in mind."
This program is the product of fruitful dialogue during this year's Mauritian chairmanship of the GFMD. The objective of the program is to create a framework on labor mobility in partnering African countries, in order to enable better coordination of the regional workforce and address the mismatch between the needs and demands of the labor market.
"Mauritius has been shaped by movements from many parts of the world. This country has always considered migration as integral to development", said the Mauritian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Arvind Boolell, in his introductory speech.
Africa is the world leader in south-south migration. Indeed, 81% of African migrants live in other African countries. "Migration is the mega-trend of the 21st century", said the Ambassador William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration. Finally, Sir Peter Sutherland, the UN Special representative for migration and development, who presented the speech of the UN Secretary General, declared that "Africa is now no longer the forgotten country in regards to international migration."