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

Chairing Country

  • Current Chair: Botswana (2023-2024)
  • Past Chair: Rwanda (2022-2023) Senegal (2021-2022), Egypt (2019-2020)


  • 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.

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

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

    Note: *Burkina Faso, Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Sudan are currently suspended from AU.

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)

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

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

• October 31 – November 2, 2023, Gaborone, Botswana, The 8th Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM-8): “Bolstering Free Movement and Trade Nexus in AFCFTA: Optimizing Benefits of Migration, Labour Migration for Development”

• September 6-8, 2022, Kigali, Rwanda, The 7th Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM-7)

• September 11-12, 2021, Dakar, Senegal, The 6th Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM-6) “Strengthening Labour Migration Governance in Africa within a pandemic situation for accelerated socio-economic development and continental Integration”

• February 6-7, 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, The 5th PAFOM Senior Officials Meeting (PAFoM-5) “Strengthening Migration Data and Research for evidence-based policy development and implementation towards effective migration governance in Africa ” 

• November 11-12, 2018, Djibouti, The 4th Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM-4) “Harnessing the benefits of Free Movement of persons regime for sustainable development in Africa”

• May 15-17, 2017, Kampala, Uganda, The 3rd Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM-3) 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

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)

Related Links

• Inter-State Consultation Mechanisms on Migration

 Inter-Regional Forums on Migration (IRFs)

 Regional consultative processes on migration (RCPs) 

• Global Processes on Migration 

• Online Repository of ISCM Materials 

• Global ISCM Meeting (GRCP) 

 ISCMs, Policy Dialogue on Migration and Migration Governance