Type : Interregional forum on migration (regions covered: Africa continent-wide)

Formal association with regional or multi-stakeholder organization : African Union

Established: 2015

The Pan-African Forum on migration (PAFOM) [formerly Intra-Regional Forum on Migration in Africa] is a continental consultative process on migration and human mobility issues in Africa. It brings together all African Union (AU) Member States (MSs), AU regional economic communities (AU RECs), RCPs in Africa, UN agencies and intergovernmental organizations to deliberate on topical issues affecting migration governance in Africa and to shape and inform policy development and share experiences. PAFOM may bring on board other key stakeholders such as African diaspora networks across the globe, African civil society organizations, academia, trade unions, employers federations, media, local authorities and other relevant partners from the continent and beyond. 

PAFOM is a forum for African Union Member States and AU RECs and other important actors to network and share information, experiences and good practices on migration and mobility governance issues in the continent. PAFOM contributes to the facilitation of intra-regional migration and human mobility, free movement of persons and integrated border management through sharing of knowledge, information, good practices, experiences and lessons learned.It provides an opportunity for the regional consultative processes on migration (RCPs) in Africa through their respective AU RECs to share their progress reports in the implementation of the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA) and other relevant migration agenda of the continent, including the Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Global Compact on Migration in Africa.

PAFOM assesses the status of implementation of policy and legal frameworks on migration including the AU Protocol on free movement of Persons , and evaluates the visa issuance regimes of African countries in order to facilitate the implementation of continent-wide visa free regimes. PAFOM deliberates on the African regional processes towards the implementation of the AU decisions, including theCommon African Position on migration and development .

The Kigali Roundtable on Intra-Regional Migration and Labor Mobility within Africa of March 2015 contributed to the implementation of the AU Assembly Declaration on Migration adopted at its 25th Ordinary Session in Johannesburg in June 2015.
The first Pan-African forum on migration held in Accra provided inputs towards the preparation of the Africa-EU Summit on Migration in Valletta , Malta in November 2015. It also assessed the progress made in the inception phase of the Regional Joint Labor Migration Program (JLMP, program by the AU, ILO, IOM and UNECA) and its way forward.The Second Forum, the Lusaka Forum contributed to enhancing capacities of the African Institutions to facilitate intra-regional migration, human mobility and free movement of goods and services through improved integrated border management in response to AU Decisions, Policies and Declarations on Migration and Development in Africa. The Third Forum in Kampala started formulation of an Africa-wide common position on the global compact for migration The 4th PAFOM in Djibouti in 2018 focused on the concept of the free movement of persons across the African continent following the African Assembly's adoption of the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishmenton the 29th of January, 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The 5th PAFOM in Egypt in 2019 adopted the PAFOM ToRs and details and modalities of PAFOM meetings, including new Ministerial level meetings. The focus was on evidence-based policy development and migration governance in Africa.

Previous Thematic Focus

  • Migration governance in Africa
  • Regional integration in Africa
  • Facilitated free movement of persons in Africa
  • Facilitated trade in Africa
  • Integrated border management in Africa
  • Visa regimes in Africa
  • Combatting irregular migration in Africa

Member States (55 States, all African Union Member States)

Algeria Libya
Angola Madagascar
Benign Malawi
Botswana Mali
Burkina Faso Mauritania
Burundi Mauritius
Cameroon Morocco
Cabo Verde Mozambique
Central African Republic Namibia
Chad Niger
Comoros Nigeria
Republic of the Congo Rwanda
Ivory Coast Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo Sao Tome and Principe
Djibouti Senegal
Egypt Seychelles
Equatorial Guinea Sierra Leone
Eritrea Somalia
Eswatini South Africa
Ethiopia South Sudan
Gabon Sudan
Gambia Tanzania
Ghana Togo
Guinea Tunisia
Guinea-Bissau Uganda
Kenya Zambia
Lesotho Zimbabwe

Member Organizations  (9 organizations)
African Union
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Community of Sahel- Saharan State (CEN-SAD)
Arab Maghreb Union (UMA)
East African Community (EAC)

Chairing Country
Current Chair: Senegal 
Upcoming Chair: Rwanda (2021)
Past Chair: Egypt (2019-2020)

Observer Organizations
Pan African Parliament 
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
UN Network on migration 

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) 
International Labor Organization (ILO) 
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) 
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Observer ISCMs
African Union Horn of Africa Initiative on Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants (AU HoAI)
Migration Dialogue for Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Region (MID-IGAD)
Migration Dialogue for the Indian Ocean Commission Countries (MiDIOCC)
Migration Dialogue from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Member States (MIDCOM)
Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA)
Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA)

Other observers
The following may be invited as ad hoc observers to PAFOM Meetings:
Other members of the UN Network on migration
Relevant intergovernmental organizations dealing with migration and human mobility in Africa
Relevant Pan African civil society organizations dealing with migration issues in the continent
Academic institutions
Local authorities
Diaspora networks
African Group representatives from Geneva, Brussels and New York dealing with migration issues
The media
Continental trade / workers unions
Continental employers federations
African independent migration institutions and or companies
Continental recruitment agencies
Airlines and shipping companies from Africa

Since September 2019 the African Union Commission Department of Social Affairs is the PAFOM secretariat, acting in close collaboration with the International Organization of Migration (IOM), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and other relevant organizations. In 2015-2019 IOM used to be the PAFOM Technical Secretariat.

To be developed

Contact Information
Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission
Roosvelt Street (Old Airport Area), W21K19, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel .: (251) 11 551 77 00

International Organization for Migration
Ms Aissata Kane 
Senior Regional Adviser for Africa (SSA)
E-mail: akane@iom.int

Annual Senior Officials meetings and biennial Ministerial Meetings to take effect in 2022. Senior officials from government and IGOs ​​are invited to attend PAFOM events.  

6-7 February 2020, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 36th AU Ordinary Executive Council. Adopted the PAFOM Terms of Reference.
September 16, 2019, Cairo, Egypt, 1st PAFOM Ministerial Meeting “Strengthening Migration Data and Research for evidence-based policy development and implementation towards effective migration governance in Africa”
September 14-15,2019, 5th PAFOM Senior Officials Meeting “Strengthening Migration Data and Research for evidence-based policy development and implementation towards effective migration governance in Africa ” 
https://au.int/ en / pressreleases / 20190916 / pafom-5-effective-policies-grounded-evidence-towards-effective-migration
https://au.int/en/speeches/20190916/closing-statement -he-amira-elfadil-during-ministerial-session-pafom-5

November 11-12, 2018, Djibouti, 4th Pan African Forum on Migration “Harnessing the benefits of Free Movement of persons regime for sustainable development in Africa”
https: / /au.int/en/newsevents/20181119/4th-pan-african-forum-migration-pafom
May 15-17, 2017, Kampala, Uganda, the Kampala Forum “Towards a Common African Position on the Global Compacts on Migration and on Refugees ”
May 4 - 6, 2016, Lusaka, Zambia, the Lusaka Forum“ Fostering Regional Integration: Facilitating Trade and Human Mobility through Enhanced Border Management ”
September 16-18, 2015, Accra, Ghana, The 1st Joint Annual Forum for Intra-Regional Consultations of Africa Regional Frameworks on Migration (Accra Forum) “Enhancing Capacities of Africa Regional Frameworks on Migration to Facilitate Intra-Regional Labor Mobility, Free Movement of Persons and Integrated Border Management ”
March 23-25, 2015, Kigali, Rwanda, Kigali Roundtable on Intra-Regional Migration and Labor Mobility within Africa

Principal Documents
African Union Summit Decision Assembly / AU / Dec.750 (XXXIII) of 2020
African Union Executive Council Decision EX.CL/Dec.1(XXXVI) of 2020 
African Union Executive Council Decision EX.CL/Dec. 1074 (XXXVI) of 2020 
African Union Executive Council Decision EX.CL/Dec.987(XXXII)Rev.1 of 2018

African Union Assembly Declaration on Migration (Assembly / AU / Decl.6 (XXV)) of June 2015
African Union Executive Council Decision (EX.CL/Dec.305 (IX) of 2006
African Union Executive Council Decision EX.CL/276 ( IX) of 2006
PAFOM Standard Operation Procedures
Report of the 5th Senior Officials Meeting (EN)
Final Report of the 4TH Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFOM) -En