IOM, African Union and Partners Commit to Enhancing Labour Mobility in Africa with USD 9 Million Swedish Grant

Migration Policy

Nairobi – Yesterday (11/07) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, on behalf of the African Union Commission and the International Labour Organisation signed a USD 9 million grant with Swedish International Development Agency, SIDA, that will go towards labour migration policy development, capacity-building for the African Union Commission, labour institutions and RECs, skills development and skills mobility, and overall labour migration governance.

The grant, which will support the implementation of the Joint Programme on Priority Implementation Actions on the AU-ILO-IOM-ECA Joint Programme on Labour Migration Governance for Development in Africa (Priority JLMP), was signed during the opening ceremony of the Symposium to Foster Labour Mobility within and from Africa in Nairobi—which focused on the effective governance and regulation of labour migration and mobility in Africa. The event took into account rule of law and the involvement of key stakeholders across government, legislatures, social partners and migrants, international organizations, NGOs and civil society organizations.

“In connection to this symposium, Sweden would like to announce that it will finance an initial phase of three years JLMP project with a total of USD 9 million,” said Torbjorn Pettersson, the Swedish Ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti. “In addition, Sweden is also providing support to the AU via IOM to retain the existing capacity of AU in terms of technical assistance,” Ambassador Pettersson added.

Maureen Achieng, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission and Representative to the AU/UNECA/IGAD, commended the African Union on its leadership on labour migration issues in Africa and emphasized the importance of partnership and a whole society approach in migration management. She thanked the AUC and ILO for entrusting IOM with the leadership role in the management of the grant.

Responding to the needs explicitly identified by RECs and social partners, as well as to those defined in AU regional policy instruments, the programme focuses on critical areas for facilitating free movement of workers as a crucial means of advancing regional integration and development in Africa.  Long-term, the implementation of the JLMP is expected to:

  • extend dignified work and social protection to migrant workers and their families
  • strengthen regional integration and inclusive development
  • encourage employment, productivity, productive investment and business success
  • enable better social and economic integration of migrants, effective labour and social protection mechanisms, and sustainable labour market systems. 

The program will target the East African Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and migrant workers, migrant associations, diaspora associations and labour market institutions.

The Initiative is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

For more Information, please contact Jo Rispoli, Senior Regional Specialist on Labour Mobility and Human Development, IOM Nairobi at Tel: + 254 700638505, Email:

  • Maureen Achieng (l), IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission and Representative to AUC, IGAD & UNECA with Sweden’s ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti, Torbjörn Pettersson. Photo: IOM 

  • Senior Government representatives from the Ministries of Labour, representatives of Regional Economic Communities, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, representatives from the European Union and Gulf Cooperation Council Member States, the Civil Society, Development and Social Partners pose for a group photo during the symposium. Photo: IOM