Ministers and Senior Experts of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), with representatives of IOM, partners and donors. Maputo, Mozambique, 28 October 2021.



6th Ministerial Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA)
Maputo, Mozambique

Maputo, 28 October 2021 – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for Southern Africa,  the  Secretariat for the Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA), facilitated the sixth Ministerial meeting of the Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA), in Maputo, Mozambique, from 25 to 28 October 2021.

The four day meeting convened Migration Experts and Senior Officials of SADC Member States from ministries with migration related functions and responsibilities notably; Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Labour, Health,  , Human rights, Social Welfare/ Development, Youth and Gender and relevant partners including technical  experts  from UN sister Agencies such as; ILO UNHCR, UNODC among others, under the theme “Reviewing Approaches to Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration in the Context of COVID-19 in the Southern Region”.

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the related preventive measures such as, border closures, lockdowns, suspension of international flights etc, heavily affected migrants in countries of origin, transit and destination. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the unique challenges faced by governments and communities in managing public health threats along the migration continuum and the interlinkages between public health and managing safe migration, including at borders, especially at Points of Entry (PoEs) on an unprecedented scale.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s overall impact on human mobility globally cannot be understated – limiting all but the essential movement of persons and creating a triumvirate of crises – health, protection and protracted socioeconomic impacts. Between March 21 and December 29, 2020, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for Southern Africa recorded a total of 166,872 migrant returnees from countries within and outside the Southern Africa Region.

“Migration has always been with us, but with the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, we felt the need to deliberate with all the relevant ministries of the SADC Member States with mandates on migration, as well as with partners, including the Regional Economic Communities (RECs); to reflect on how we can collectively work on harmonized approaches to ensure safe, orderly, and regular migration, in the Southern African region, in accordance with the Global Compact of Migration (GMC)”, said Charles Allan Kwenin, IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa.

The discussions formulated recommendations on issues around human mobility, borders and managing public health threats in the region, protection needs of migrants, strengthening the approaches for the collection and use of migration data in Southern African region, and unpacking the Integrative and Mobility Agenda for Socio-Economic Recovery (Skills Mobility & Diaspora Engagement).

The Ministers adopted the key recommendations of the MIDSA as well as the Maputo Diaspora Declaration, thus requesting IOM in collaboration with relevant United Nations (UN) Agencies and partners, in coordination with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states and the Secretariat, to develop a regional programme and a regional diaspora policy to facilitate the engagement of the Diaspora and transnational communities as agents of development among SADC member states.

In its capacity as the current Chair of SADC, the Government of Malawi will host the next MIDSA meeting in 2022, at experts and  senior officials level.

For more information, please contact Mr. Wonesai Sithole, Regional Policy and Liaison Officer
Interview: Charles Allan Kwenin, IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa