UN Migration Agency Launches First Ever Regional Migration Data Hub for Southern Africa Region

Pretoria – IOM, the UN Migration Agency officially launched today (24/11) the Regional Migration Data Hub for Southern Africa (RMDHub) in Pretoria. The establishment of the Hub is part of IOM’s response to requests by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States to enhance governments’ capacities to generate accurate and reliable data to better inform policy development.

The RMDHub also responds to recommendations by SADC Ministers of Home Affairs and of Labour to strengthen collaboration between Member States, IOM and partners to ensure that migration data are shared and communicated more effectively.

This follows the launch of the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in 2015, in Berlin, Germany. “Poor presentation of migration data can contribute to misperceptions about migration, and distort public debates about the topic. We need to do more to ensure that data are presented accurately and communicated in ways that can be easily understood,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

As migration has risen to the top of the global and regional policy agendas, there is increased demand for reliable data to shape and inform the migration narrative. Migration data is key in the formulation of effective migration policies, therefore IOM has established this Hub to support the collection, analysis and interpretation of migration data at the national and regional levels. Without consistent and comparable data, it is difficult to analyze trends and forecast migration patterns to develop strategies to manage migration in a more humane, safe and orderly manner.

“Migration pertains to many sectors and ministries with migration data hosted by different Government ministries and institutions. The RMDHub will therefore serve as a central repository of migration data and information gathered through studies, research and operational activities in the SADC Region carried out by IOM, National Institutions, Academia, Civil Society and Private Sector,” explained Charles Kwenin, IOM Southern Africa Regional Director.

Kwenin added that the Hub “will also ensure coherence in migration data collection, analysis and interpretation. In collaboration with the Global Migration Analysis and Data Centre, it will explore innovative approaches to collect reliable data on migration flows, patterns and trends.”

Through a significant and progressive move, migration was included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In addition, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants stresses the need to enhance data collection, specifying that such data should be disaggregated by sex and age and include information on regular and irregular flows, human trafficking, and the needs of refugees and migrants among other aspects.

The introduction of the RMDHub comes a few weeks before the official launch of the Migration Data Portal in Berlin. Managed by IOM´s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, the Portal aims to serve as a unique access point to the world of global migration statistics and data. The Portal brings together an abundance of sources and datasets on international migration, including by region. Infographics, data visualizations, videos, blog posts and thematic pages shall make the portal a useful tool for policy-makers, statisticians, journalists and anyone interested in migration.

The launch, attended by senior Government officials, Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to the Republic of South Africa, and other key stakeholders, showcased innovative technological tools and resources that IOM has developed in recent years to enhance this important regional response. 

For more information, please contact Ntokozo Mahlangu, IOM Southern Africa Regional Office, Tel: 081 721 7418/071 582 1230, Email: