AU and IOM Focus Discussions on Impact of Climate Change
Africa Wellness

AU and IOM Focus Discussions on Impact of Climate Change

The African Union (AU) in collaboration with the Republic of Rwanda, and support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have expressed their concern the Impact of climate change on human mobility in Africa

The two parties held the Ministerial Segment of the 7th Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFOM7) in Kigali, Rwanda under the theme: “Addressing the Impact of Climate Change on Human Mobility in Africa: Building Adaptation Strategies and Resilient Communities”.

The ministerial meeting of the Pan African Forum on Migration, held on 21 October 2022, brought together ministers responsible for Environment, Migration, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from AU Member States.

The meeting was opened officially by Honorable Ms. Judith Uwizeye, Minister in the office of the President of Rwanda who urged the participants from Member States to use the opportunity to reiterate engagements and strengthen collaborations as a continent and develop strategies that work for the continent.

She further highlighted the need to strengthen governance of labor migration framework in Africa through measures to be adopted towards socio-economic development and the acceleration of continental integration

In her opening remarks, the Ag. Director for Social Development, Culture and Sports Department, Ms. Angela Martins, on behalf of H.E. Amb. Minata Samaté Cessouma, Commissioner for the Department of Health Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development (HHS) of the African Union Commission, noted that the Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFOM) as a premier continental interstates dialogue has continuously provided a unique opportunity to reflect on various issues affecting the continent.

“While migration trends in Africa has been characterized with evidence of increased cases of irregular movements of citizens out of the continent, sometimes through dangerous routes, there is need for us to reflect on the root causes and how we can sustainably address them”.

She said that the forum has been instrumental in bringing together various stakeholders in the continent, including the African Union Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the UN family, Civil society Organizations (CSOs) and other partners within the migration and human mobility governance space to discuss, share best practices and deliberate on topical migration governance issues in the continent,  while also further identifying common challenges and opportunities within this area for joint intervention.

The Ag. Director for Social Development, Culture and Sports Department assured that the Commission will continue supporting the AU Member States at different levels in mitigating the impact of climate change on migration and displacement on the Continent.

“Through the implementation of The AU Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan (2022-2032) , will strive to support Member States in providing technical guidance and coordination responding to climate change and also in the implementation of the Paris Agreement by Member States,” concluded Ms. Angela Martins.

The opening session also addressed by Mr. Mr. António Vitorino, the IOM Director General, who noted that climate change represents a serious and long-term challenge to global development; it disproportionately affects least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states (SIDs) and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs).

He concluded by underlining the urgent need to take bold and concerted action and to address the impacts of climate change on human mobility and to adapt to the impacts of climate change in a safe and dignified way, that enable peace and prosperity, and to ensure that no one left behind.

During the three-day Forum, senior officials from Member States and experts from academia discussed, among others, the following issues:

  • Regional perspectives and policies on addressing the impact of climate change on migration and forced displacement;
  • Impact of climate change on migration and mobility in cities and urban areas;
  • Protection concerns of groups in vulnerable situation who have been displaced by the impact of climate change and disasters;
  • Strengthening Africa’s policy and legal frameworks on migration and displacement in the context of climate change;
  • Data and research gaps on the climate change-human mobility nexus for policy development and implementation in Africa; and
  • Climate change induced migration and human mobility accountability, adaptation and resilience in Africa