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UN agencies tie Africa’s transformation to migration


Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), R. Kayanja (left); Assistant Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service, Saheed Garba; representative of Head, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Lagos Office, Saskia Kok; book presenter, Professor Ndubuisi Ifeanyi Nwokoma and Head, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Glen Prichard; during the launch of Economic Development in Africa Report in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO: MERCY JERRY

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has stated that migration was vital for Africa’s socio-economic transformation.

A financial economist, Professor Ndubuisi Ifeanyi Nwokoma, made this assertion yesterday during a presentation of the Economic Development in Africa Report (EDAR) 2018 at a press conference with the theme: Migration For Structural Transformation at UNIC office in Lagos.

At the report launch, Nwokoma said migration, which is the movement of people from one place to another, was necessary for the continent’s socio-economic development, adding that people migrating from Nigeria was not bad, because “intra-Africa migration – migrating within the African continent – contributes to greater intra-Africa trade”.


Director of UNIC, Mr. R. Kayanja, pointed out that the report was produced yearly and highlights the objectives, impacts, constraints and messages of the importance and risks of migration, especially on female migrants.

“Female migration is dicey, as women are exposed to gender discrimination and sexual harassment, among others. The risks involved in female migration requires specific policy framework that should bring about safety,” he said.

Nwokoma identified economic change as one of the reasons for migration, which boosts trade, as well as fosters inclusive and economic growth.Using statistical analysis, he exposed some of the myths, facts, constraints and impacts of migration on the originating and destination countries, as well as address migration policies and recommendations.

Some of the constraints on migration include “high cost of money transfer – 8.9 per cent on average in Africa for sending $200 and global average of 7.3 per cent imperfect flow of information on job opportunities across the continent and lack of regulatory framework for recognition.”According to the report, migration boosts trade and tourism, increases tax revenue and advances skills for migrants.

Also speaking at the conference, Head of Lagos Office United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Glen Prichard, stated that UNODC was a custodian of the United Nations convention against transnational crime, with a focus on drugs and human trafficking.

“UNODC implements policies that work better on protection, considering human trafficking. It fights human trafficking by partnering with the Federal Government through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to stop criminal trafficking of persons,” he said.Saskia Kok, who was represented by the Head of International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Lagos Office, Abraham Tamrat, appraised EDAR 2018, saying: “The report showcases the untapped Nigeria and Africa’s potential in trade and development.”

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