The shortcomings and scarcity of data on migration have limited the capacity of the African Union (AU) Member States to conceive coherent migration policies. Furthermore, the informal character of migratory movements, the porosity of borders and the complexity of the collection of data on human mobility at the continental level, going from and to Africa, have made the management of migratory movements very difficult.

To this end, through Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.695 (XXXI) the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (committed to establish, in Morocco, the African Migration Observatory, as an AU organ, to address the real and pressing need for Africa to generate knowledge and better understand the migration phenomenon.

Against this backdrop, the African Migration Observatory will be inaugurated on 18 Dec 2020 in Rabat, Morocco, and will be officiated by the H.E. Mrs Amira Elfadil, the Commissioner for Social Affairs and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco.

The African Migration Observatory is a new AU mechanism, which will help to develop, through reliable and accurate data on migration, clear, effective and realistic migration policies and programmes.

The Observatory will also facilitate the implementation of the Marrakesh global compact on migration through data collection and the promotion of continental and international cooperation in the field of migration and strengthening the contribution of migration to sustainable development.

The proposal to establish the African Migration Observatory was endorsed by African Heads of State and Government at the 31st AU Summit that was held in Nouakchott, Mauritania in July 2018. The purpose of the African Migration Observatory is to improve the overall migration governance regime in Africa, and to serve as the African tool to address migratory data deficiencies on the Continent, and guide African countries in the elaboration of evidence-based migration policies;

The main Objectives are to:

Provide the Continent with a centralized, unified source of data on migration for further research, policy formulation and programming and to improve the overall migration governance regime in Africa;

Advance the knowledge base of the African Continent on migration and mobility;

Contribute to evidence-based policies and interventions on migration in Africa;

Support and bring together the other existing initiatives on migration, notably the African Centre for the Study and Research on Migration in Mali, the Continental Operational Centre in Khartoum for combating irregular migration, the Tunis based African Union Institute for Statistics (STATAFRIC), national bureaux of statistics and migration data hubs in Africa and beyond.

The observatory will aim at “harmonizing the national strategies of African states and improving interactions with partners” thus dealing with the collection and development of information on migration within Africa, the regulation of policies and their harmonization throughout Africa, and the interaction with partners abroad. It will also guide African countries in the elaboration of efficient migration policies within the context of the AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA).