Creating Regional Synergies to Foster South-South Labour Mobility in Southern Africa

Mozambique - The Southern African region is currently suffering from the global economic crisis and the El Niño phenomenon, which has hit the agricultural sector. Many people are looking for jobs in and outside the region.

In response to this and the growing need for rights-based labour migration management and policy development contributing to regional initiatives, IOM Mauritius is hosting a regional workshop on labour migration in Mauritius between 25-27 May 2016.

The workshop is part of an IOM project funded by the IOM Development Fund entitled: Developing a Roadmap to Facilitate South-South Labour Mobility in Southern Africa. It addresses the changing nature of migration and longstanding challenges to ensuring that the rights of workers crossing borders within Southern Africa are protected.

Attendees at the three-day workshop, which ends today, included representatives from nine SADC Member States – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Regional synergies and key tools being discussed at the workshop include: regional guidelines on bilateral labour agreements; a regional labour exporting framework; a model intra-SADC circular migration programme; and a regional roadmap to complement the extension of the SADC Labour Migration Action Plan 2016-2019.

"I believe the key words that we need to retain here are removal of barriers, and enhancement of learning processes, for this ought to be the essence at the core of labour mobility programmes. However, this will not be possible if we do not strengthen the coordination and management frameworks at national and regional levels," said Soodesh Callichurn, Mauritius’ Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training.

A validation meeting will be held in Pretoria in October 2016 in order to have high-level validation of the project deliverables. In addition, a donor conference will be held in the same month, following the validation meeting, in order to share the concept notes and proposals based on the deliverables with various donors based in Southern Africa. 

The overall objective of the regional labour migration project is to strengthen the capacity of Ministries of Labour in target SADC countries to implement labour migration programmes within the framework of the SADC Regional Action Plan on Labour Migration, SADC Regional Labour Migration Policy Framework, and the SADC Employment and Labour Protocol.

Labour migration in the SADC region has become an increasingly important issue for SADC member states in Southern Africa. The Secretariat, member states and ILO and IOM through the latest Employment and Labour Sector (ELS) Ministerial Meetings held in Gaborone, Botswana from 9-12 of May 2016, agreed to strengthen and extend the current SADC Labour Migration Action Plan through to 2019. Member states commended IOM and ILO on their reinvigorated partnership.

For further information please contact Jason Theede at IOM Mozambique, Tel: +258 823 357 002, Email: