Encouraging Moroccan Migrants to become Agents of Development

"This programme offers a unique opportunity for migrants who wish to invest in Morocco to acquire the financial management skills which will help them become effective agents of development. Furthermore, this approach is intended to build support networks for migrants in both countries through a range of migrants' associations, public administrations and the private sector."
-- Ugo Melchionda, Mig-Ressources Project Manager, IOM Italy

Mig-resources, short for "Migration and Return, Resources for Development" is an IOM programme that focuses on Moroccan migrants as potential agents of development. It aims to create favourable conditions in Italy and Morocco for expatriates to invest at home, either through temporary or permanent return programmes, targeted investments of remittances or through the creation of a trans-national network of firms, migrants' associations and public administrations in both countries.

Carried out by IOM's Rome office, in cooperation with the Italian research and training institute Centro di Ricerca e Documentazione Febbraio '74 (CERFE), the Rabat-based Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Démographiques (CERED) and the Hassan II Foundation for Moroccans Residing Abroad, the project is financed by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs – Italian Cooperation.

Knowing that the average Moroccan migrant leaves his country with good qualifications which are rarely employed in Italy at a level proportionate to his skills, the project aims to reverse this by favouring better social and professional integration in Italy. It also encourages effective socio-economic development of Morocco through the targeted investment of migrants' remittances, the improvement of social and technological transfers, and the return of migrants.

The migrants' original skills and qualifications, enriched by the migratory experience and the potential investment capacity of their remittances, represent a key factor of development. In this regard the project meets the efforts of the Italian Government in improving the role of migrants as actors directly involved in the socio-economic development of the country.

Key Objectives

Mig-ressources aims to:

  • Create a more favourable environment for qualified migration between Italy and Morocco.
  • Create the conditions for the successful integration and adequate professional insertion of potential Moroccan migrants before their departure, and of Moroccan immigrants already residing in Italy but who are underemployed with respect to their qualifications.
  • Identify qualifying return paths, either temporary or permanent, for Moroccan migrants living in Italy to contribute to local development and intensified cooperation between the two countries.
  • Find all the means to improve the use of migrants' remittances for the economic and social development of Morocco.
  • Collect data about the geographical distribution of the Moroccan Diaspora in Italy aimed at making the decentralized cooperation between Italy and Morocco more effective.

Beneficiaries

  • Potential Moroccan migrants to Italy
  • Moroccan immigrants in Italy

Concrete Benefits

  • Training and appropriate job placements in Italy for potential Moroccans who plan to go abroad.
  • Assessment of and guidance on projects (whether investments, small businesses, or not-for-profit cooperation) for Moroccan migrants who plan to return, and assistance in carrying them out.
  • Networking with representatives from the political, institutional, social and economic sectors of Morocco and Italy.
  • Access to a database on integration opportunities in Italy and professional opportunities for migrants who return.

Principal IOM Activities

  • Research on:
    • good practices of accessing and integrating with the job market and good practices in return paths
    • migration potential of Morocco with regard to Italy
    • social and professional integration opportunities in Italy
    • the best means to develop remittances and social investments of migrants.
  • Train and assist qualified migrants in Morocco to help them find employment in Italy that matches their skills.
  • Train and assist qualified migrants in Italy in carrying out their return projects.
  • Conduct a workshop for beneficiaries to meet each other and meet representatives from the political, institutional, social, economic sectors of Morocco and Italy.
  • Arrange for the assessment of project ideas of beneficiaries and provide guidance and assistance in carrying them out.
  • Arrange for the beneficiaries' meeting with an expert of the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation Office, to plan cooperation opportunities and identify possible funds.
  • Share lessons learned and prepare guidelines for programmes that
    • Support social integration and professional insertion of migrants in Italy;
    • Support temporary or permanent return projects to improve the development of Morocco.
  • Organize an international conference in Morocco where all activities, lessons learned and products will be presented and discussed.
Operational Networking
About 300 meetings aimed at identifying the possible beneficiaries and the possible cooperation with different interlocutors have been set up either in Italy or in Morocco.

More than 60 associations and associations' networks of MREs (Moroccans living abroad) in Italy have been contacted.

Thanks to this networking activity it has been possible to build up a repertoire of over 90 references of subjects potentially interested in supporting migration or return projects of Moroccan beneficiaries (through the offer of internships, enterprises incubators, administrative and financial assistance, mentorship and coaching).

A second repertoire of all agencies operating in the migration field either in Italy or in Morocco was prepared, with a list of about 100 subjects with a relevant role in the field of migration between Italy and Morocco.