Lilongwe — Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Member States have agreed on a roadmap that will lead to regional coordination and harmonisation of approaches to mixed and irregular migration.
The workshop which took three days at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe aimed at taking stock of actions undertaken at national and regional levels to address mixed and irregular migration, reflect current trends in the region and share best practices among member states and other regional partners.
Addressing reporters at the end of the workshop, Principal Secretary (PS) in Malawi's Home Affairs Ministry Beston Chisamile said the consultative conference was a stock taking process of implementations which were recommended at a similar workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2010.
Said Chisamile, "Having reflected on previous efforts in the region to address mixed and irregular migration, in particular the Dar es Salaam plan of action, member states agreed that, the plan remains relevant and feasible and thus Member States underlined the need for concrete set of activities, as well as a clearly defined process for successful implementation of the action plan.
He also disclosed that the delegates of the member states which included Senior Government officials in respective of Home Affairs Department stressed that the SADC Secretariat has a pivotal role to play in facilitating and coordinating the roadmap for the successful implementation of the proposed Plan of Action.
The workshop which is branded Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) was organised by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Organisation for Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Echoing the PS, Regional Advisor for Africa to the IOM Director General, Charles Kwenin said the MIDSA workshops were critical in ensuring safety of people migrating from country to country within the region.
"Migration has is a means of poverty reduction and survival especially where people move to foreign countries as either asylum seekers or in search for employment or businesses," said Mwenin who added "Unfortunately these migration has become a risk to the migrants and MIDSA provides a platform of discussion of strategies on how to ensure safe movement in the SADC region."