Malawi Launches First Ever Migration Profile

Migration Law

Malawi - In cooperation with the Government of Malawi, Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, International Organization for (IOM) last week (18/09) launched Malawi’s first ever Migration Profile in Lilongwe.

The decision to produce a National Migration Profile for Malawi was primarily driven by the Government’s desire to develop a comprehensive national migration policy that would address the complex migration dynamics Malawi faces as a country of origin, transit and destination. 

Compilation of a reliable evidence base that would inform such a policy emerged as a priority after Malawi became an IOM member state in 2013. Although data on migration was captured across a wide range of ministries, departments and agencies, it remained scattered and of limited use for policy making purposes. This led to the development and subsequent implementation of IOM’s first ever project in the country supported by the IOM Development Fund (IDF) under which the Migration Profile was produced. The product brings together existing information from different sources in a structured manner and provides a comprehensive overview of key international migration and socioeconomic development trends in Malawi. It also identifies data gaps and potential strategies to improve data collection for policy and planning purposes.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Dr. Jean Kalilani MP thanked IOM and its IDF facility for the support extended to the government in the production of the Migration Profile and called on relevant stakeholders to take the findings into account in their migration related programming and policy development. Dr. Kalilani further reiterated the Government’s commitment to develop a comprehensive migration policy for the country with particular emphasis on addressing issues related to irregular migration and harnessing the potentials of the diaspora for national development purposes.

Mr. Josiah Ogina, IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa, said: “We aspire for the Malawi migration profile to become a living document that can continue to be updated and published at regular intervals. We hope that the Migration Profile launched today will contribute to effective migration management through informed policy making.” He also commended the Government for taking a proactive approach towards the humane and orderly management of migration and thanked the IOM Development Fund for supporting the initiative.  

Migration dynamics in Malawi are complex as it is a country of origin, transit, and destination for thousands of migrants. The country is particularly affected by mixed migration flows and related complex smuggling routes from the Horn of Africa to Southern Africa. Challenges associated with these flows as well as labour migration into and out of the country have created a pressing need for a comprehensive national migration policy. Recurrent floods also cause large quantities of internal displacement regularly. Setting up comprehensive migration data collection and management systems are thus the government’s current priority in a bid to ensure evidence based policy making.

Major  IOM activities in the country so far include capacity building in border management and addressing mixed migration flows as well as the  hosting the 2014 Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) Conference. As the lead Agency of the Global Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster for Natural Disasters, IOM was actively involved in this year’s national response to flooding in the country that left close to 230,000 persons displaced.

For further information, please contact Stephane Trocher, IOM Malawi at Tel: +265999839012, Email:   

From left: Stephane Trocher, IOM Chief of Mission, Malawi; Josiah Ogina, IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa; Dr. Jean Kalilani MP, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security; Beston Chisamale, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security and Masauko Medi, Chief Immigration Officer