Type: regional consultative process on migration (Region: Africa)

Formal association with regional or multi-stakeholder organization: East African Community (EAC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

Established 2020


The Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration for East and Horn of Africa is an ISCM bringing together 11 States from East and Horn of Africa Region to jointly address labour migration policies, foster labour mobility and protect the fundamental human, labour, and social rights of migrant workers migrating within the continent and from Africa to EU, GCC Member States and other countries. 


The RMFM was launched at the Regional Ministerial Forum on “Harmonizing Labour Migration Policies in East and Horn of Africa – A United Approach on Safe, Regular and Humane Labour Migration” that was held in Nairobi, Kenya in January 2020. Participating States agreed to collaborate to strengthen labour migration governance in the East and Horn of Africa region by establishing a platform for experience sharing, consultation on issues, dialogue, and the review and implementation of recommendations.

It will promote regional common approaches and social dialogue in the formulation and implementation of evidence-based, human rights and gender-sensitive harmonized labour migration policies.  The RMFM’s work is guided by the relevant regional and global initiatives addressing migration, such as the Africa 2063 Agenda, AU Free Movement Protocol, the Revised Migration Policy Framework for Africa, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs 8.8 and 10.7), the Global Compact for Migration (Objectives 6 and 23) as well as the IOM’s Migration Governance Framework.


The six objectives of the RMFM for 2020-2023 include:

  1. Support Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to develop, adopt and implement bilateral and multilateral labour migration agreements (BLMAs).
  2. Promote common African policy responses to implement existing legal and policy frameworks; formulate new policy responses where protection gaps have been identified and involve multilateral stakeholders and development partners to protect the human, social, economic and labour rights of African migrant workers in countries of origin, transit and countries of destination.
  3. Establish or reinforce existing labour market information systems within Africa to identify labour market needs for migrant workers and strengthen the capacity of labour market institutions on labour migration.
  4. introduce harmonised standards and tools for data collection, analysis and monitoring on international labour migration in Africa to encourage quantitative and qualitative research on labour migration and its inter-correlated issues and facilitate evidence-based labour migration policymaking.
  5. Governments to enhance inter-State; intra and inter-regional cooperation for implementation of the AUC/IOM/ILO Joint Labour Migration Program.
  6. Governments to support the overall strengthening of social security and welfare institutions in Member States in order to extend social security to migrant workers, promoting in particular the mainstreaming of gender and disability issues, induced mental health and psychosocial issues through access and portability regimes compatible with international standards and good practice.


Current Thematic Focus

  • Labour migration / mobility, Bilateral Labour Migration Agreements, Ethical Fair recruitment; labour market information systems (LMIS)
  • Migration and development
  • Diaspora
  • Remittances
  • Regional integration
  • Migrants’ rights
  • Social welfare of migrants
  • Migrants’ health (including Covid-19)
  • Migration data and statistics
  • Cross border trade and transport facilitation
  • Partnership and cooperation on labour migration governance (including capacity-building on migration)



Member States (11 States)

  • Republic of Burundi
  • Republic of Djibouti
  • State of Eritrea
  • Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
  • Republic of Kenya
  • Republic of Rwanda
  • Federal Republic of Somalia
  • Republic of South Sudan
  • Republic of the Sudan
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • Republic of Uganda


Founding Member States are the same as the current Member States.

Member Organizations

  • East African Community (EAC)
  • Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Observer Organization

International Labour Organization (ILO)


Ad hoc observers may include intergovernmental organizations, regional organizations, and UN agencies members of the UN Network for Migration Executive Committee.

Civil Society organizations may be invited on a case-by-case basis, upon Member States’ consensus.



One-year voluntary rotating chairmanship in alphabetical order.

Current Chair: Ethiopia

Past Chair: Kenya (2020-2021)


National Coordinators

The RMFM is supported through National Coordinators which are designated by each Member State at the level of Minister/Cabinet Secretary or Vice Minister/Principal Secretary. The National Coordinators act as the focal point for their country on all issues concerning the RMFM.


National Technical Advisory Committees

Each RMFM Member State appoints a National Technical Advisory Committee chaired by Permanent Secretary/Principal Secretary/Director in the Ministry responsible for Labour Migration.


Regional Technical Advisory Committee

Comprises National Technical Advisory Committees of each RMFM Member State.  The official (Permanent Secretary/Principal Secretary/Director) responsible for Labour Migration in the country chairing the RMFM will chair the Regional Technical Advisory Committee.  The Committee is responsible for the  identification of interventions in the agreed communiqué as per priority actions; establishment of a road map for implementation of the identified interventions; development of mechanisms for collaboration and partnerships with the stakeholders; designing mechanisms for resource mobilization for the implementation of the proposed interventions; carrying out mid-term reviews on progress made in implementation of the initiatives in the agreed communiqué and identifying areas requiring immediate attention; ensuring adequate preparation for the Annual High-Level Ministerial meetings; development of a monitoring and evaluation framework to assess the implementation of the identified interventions; and provision of periodic reports and feedback on the implementation of the proposed interventions.



IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa acts as the Technical Secretariat in close coordination with the IGAD and EAC Secretariats. Upon the directives of the Chair, the Regional Secretariat ensures the functioning of the RMFM and supports the RMFM Chair in fostering links with other relevant entities.



To be developed.



The RMFM events include: Bi-Annual Technical Advisory Committees Meetings; Senior Officials Meetings; and Annual High-Level Ministerial meeting; Special High-Level Ministerial meetings may be convened as need arises.

1 April 2022, Nairobi, Kenya, Ministerial Meeting “Harnessing the Potential of Human Mobility [Joint Statement]

25 February 2021, online, Global Policy Network on Recruitment linked with RMFM

25 November 2020, online, 2nd Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration on “Harmonizing Labour Migration Policies in East and Horn of Africa: A United Approach on Safe, Regular and Humane Labour Migration” (RMFM). Adopted Operating Modalities and Draft RMFM Road Map on Migration and Mobility in EHOA. [Outcome Document]

25 November 2020, online, Regional Principal Secretaries’ meeting on the RMFM preparation of the Draft Road Map (2020-2023) to be adopted by the 2nd Regional Ministerial Forum on Migration (RMFM).

21 July 2020, online, Regional Principal Secretaries’ follow-up meeting on the Regional Ministerial Forum held in January 2020. 

January 20-21, 2020, Nairobi, Kenya, Regional Ministerial Forum on “Harmonising Labour Migration Policies in East and Horn of Africa – A United Approach on Safe, Regular and Humane Labour Migration”

Related Meetings

December 10-11, 2019, Nairobi, Kenya, Regional technical Workshop “Labour Migration Policies and Bilateral Labour Migration Agreements in African Union Member States

May 21-23, 2019, Entebbe, Uganda, East and Horn of Africa regional workshop to promote ethical recruitment

July 10-12, 2018, Nairobi, Kenya, Symposium on Fostering Labour Mobility within and from Africa

Principal Documents

Communiqué and Call for Action Priorities for 2020 - 2023 [French | Arabic | English]

RMFM Operating Modalities

RMFM Road Map on Migration and Mobility

Roadmap for the Implementation of the RMFM

RMFM structure

Contact information

Mr Mohammed Abdiker

Head of the RMFM Secretariat

Regional Director, IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa

Sri Aurobindo Avenue, Off Mzima Spring Road, Lavington, Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254 2 4444167

Fax: +254 2 4449577