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Mapping Africas Migration A Symbol of Collective Governance

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A Struggle Across Seas: Africa’s Lesson in Humanity to Europe

“In the face of migration crises, Africa’s compassionate governance offers a beacon of hope against Europe’s barricaded borders.”

By Darius Spearman (africanelements)

About the author: Darius Spearman is a professor of Black Studies at San Diego City College, where he has been pursuing his love of teaching since 2007. He is the author of several books, including Between The Color Lines: A History of African Americans on the California Frontier Through 1890. You can visit Darius online at

Key Takeaways: A Comparative Analysis of EU and African Migration Policies

Aspect African Approach European Approach
Governance Model Mainstreamed, inclusive Security-centric, siloed
Key Mechanisms National Coordination Mechanisms (NCMs) Primarily Interior or Home Affairs Ministries
Migration Patterns Diverse, mostly intracontinental Focused on containment and border security
Policy Framework African Union’s comprehensive guidelines EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa
Stakeholder Involvement Involves academia, civil society, various ministries Limited inter-ministerial collaboration

Understanding Migration Governance in Africa

In an era where migration headlines often spell crisis and chaos, African countries are pioneering a path of inclusivity and coherence in migration governance. Contrary to the prevalent European discourse, which frequently questions Africa’s ability to effectively manage migration, the continent stands as a beacon of effective governance.

“Many African countries are mainstreaming migration governance for greater coherence and inclusivity. Europe can draw some valuable lessons from this.” – Inter Press Service

This approach not only challenges the stereotypical portrayal of African states in migration matters but also highlights the potential lessons Europe can derive from Africa’s strategies.

The Role of National Coordination Mechanisms (NCMs) in Africa

NCMs, a brainchild of the countries in the East and Horn of Africa, have become the cornerstone of Africa’s innovative approach to migration governance. These government-led platforms have transformed the landscape of policy formulation, bringing together various ministries for cohesive dialogue on migration issues.

“NCMs are government-led interagency platforms that bring together different ministries to promote dialogue on migration issues and formulate holistic migration policies.” – Inter Press Service

The implementation of NCMs demonstrates a commitment to a united and comprehensive approach to migration, setting a precedent for other regions, including Europe.

Key African Countries with Successful NCMs

  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Ethiopia
  • Djibouti

The Role of National Coordination Mechanisms (NCMs) in Africa

In Africa, the adoption of National Coordination Mechanisms (NCMs) marks a significant stride in migration governance. Countries in the East and Horn of Africa, like Kenya and Ethiopia, have led the way in this innovative approach. NCMs provide a platform for various government ministries to collaborate, ensuring a holistic and inclusive migration policy.

“NCMs are government-led interagency platforms that bring together different ministries to promote dialogue on migration issues and formulate holistic migration policies.” – Inter Press Service

These countries exemplify the success of NCMs in creating more coherent and inclusive migration governance. Their experiences offer valuable lessons for countries worldwide, including those in the EU.

Diversity of Migration Experiences in Africa

The African continent showcases a rich tapestry of migration experiences, far more varied than the often-portrayed image of desperate journeys across the Mediterranean. From labor migration to educational purposes, the patterns are diverse and predominantly intracontinental.

“The African continent boasts of diverse migration experiences, including but not limited to regular cross-border trade, labour migration, forced migration, seasonal migration and migration for educational purposes.” – _European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)

Table: Types of Migration in Africa

Type of Migration Description Example Countries
Labor Migration Work-related movement within the continent Nigeria, South Africa
Forced Migration Displacement due to conflict or persecution Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo
Seasonal Migration Movement linked to agricultural cycles Ethiopia, Kenya
Educational Migration Relocation for academic purposes Ghana, Uganda

This diversity necessitates migration policies that are adaptive and responsive to various migration dynamics, something that African countries are progressively implementing.

African Union’s Comprehensive Migration Policy

The African Union (AU) has been instrumental in shaping a continent-wide approach to migration. In 2006, the AU established a groundbreaking Migration Policy Framework, a testament to its proactive stance in addressing the complexities of migration.

“The framework provides comprehensive and integrated policy guidelines to AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in their endeavours to promote migration and development.” – _European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)

Table: Key Elements of the AU Migration Policy Framework

Element Description
Policy Guidelines Offers comprehensive strategies for managing migration
Regional Cooperation Encourages collaboration among African nations
Development Focus Links migration with socio-economic development
Addressing Migration Challenges Provides solutions for common migration-related issues

This framework not only provides a guideline for African nations but also serves as an example for regions like the EU, demonstrating the importance of a unified, strategic approach to migration.

Comparing EU and African Migration Approaches

The European Union and African nations have markedly different approaches to migration. The EU’s policies often emerge from a security standpoint, primarily focusing on border control and containment. In contrast, African strategies, as embodied in the AU’s policies and initiatives like NCMs, adopt a more holistic and inclusive approach.

“In most EU countries, the migration docket currently falls solely within the Ministries of Interior or Home Affairs.” – _European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)

Comparative Aspects of EU and African Migration Approaches

  • EU Approach: Security-centric, restrictive, limited stakeholder involvement.
  • African Approach: Inclusive, multi-faceted, involving various ministries and civil society.

The EU’s focus on containment often overlooks the potential benefits of migration, such as cultural enrichment and economic contributions, a perspective that African nations recognize and integrate into their migration governance. This comparison highlights the potential for the EU to learn from African models, adopting more inclusive and beneficial migration policies.

Reflecting on Migration: Lessons from Africa for Europe

The story of migration, as seen through the lens of African and European policies, teaches us valuable lessons. Africa, with its inclusive and varied approach, shows how migration governance can be humane and beneficial. In contrast, Europe’s focus on security and containment overlooks these positives. This tale isn’t just about policies; it’s about people and their journeys. The African Union’s framework and Africa’s National Coordination Mechanisms offer a blueprint for managing migration with compassion and effectiveness. Europe could learn a lot from this narrative, finding ways to embrace migration’s full potential.


Q: What are National Coordination Mechanisms in Africa?
A: These are platforms where different government departments work together to make migration policies that are fair and well-rounded.

Q: Why is the African Union’s Migration Policy important?
A: It gives African countries a detailed plan on how to handle migration in a way that helps everyone – both the people moving and the places they go to.

Q: Can Europe learn from Africa’s approach to migration?
A: Yes, Europe can learn a lot from how Africa deals with migration. Africa’s approach is more about including everyone and seeing the good sides of migration.

Works Cited:

  • “What the EU Can Learn from Africa” – Inter Press Service
  • “The EU’s Migration Policy in Africa: Five Ways Forward” – European Council on Foreign Relations
  • “Crafting the African Response to European External Migration Policies” – European Centre for Development Policy Management

This article sheds light on the different ways Africa and Europe handle migration. It’s not just about laws and rules; it’s about understanding people and their needs. Africa’s story shows us a path filled with empathy and practical solutions, a path that Europe might benefit from following.