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Africa’s foremost thinkers on migration to gather at ECA’s 10th African Development Forum

Abdalla Hamdok - Deputy Executive Secretary - ECA
Abdalla Hamdok – Deputy Executive Secretary – ECA

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says it is bringing together Africa’s foremost thinkers on migration to the 10th edition of its African Development Forum, UN agency’s flagship conference.

The Forum scheduled for November 15 to17, 2016 is on the theme, “Migration and Africa’s transformation.”

According to the ECA, the Forum which has become a unique platform for business, civil society and political leaders to thrash out some of the most pressing issues relating to Africa’s transformation will be jointly convened in partnership with the African Union and the African Development Bank.

Commenting, ECA’s Chief Economist and Deputy Executive Secretary, Abdalla Hamdok, said, “The theme stems from the recognition of the central role of migration as an important enabler for inclusive and sustainable development. We seek to raise awareness and deepen understanding of the role of international migration in promoting inclusive growth and transformation in Africa.”

The impact of migration on Africa, in particular cannot be over emphasized. A research conducted by the Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana, showed that migration leads to loss of cultural bearing.

A report by the GNA, says the research, under the auspices of the Migrating out of Poverty Research Programme on “Migration, Intra-Household Dynamics and Youth Aspirations in Ghana” found that most people who migrate and come home were unable to prepare the traditional meal and speak the local language correctly.

Some other studies by labour researchers also show that the impact of migration on developing countries would continue to play a major role in determining their status.

The ECA points out that the issue of migration has become a major subject of debate internationally.

Citing experts, Dr. Hamdock said some reports in the media have fed into existing stereotypes, especially on the numbers of Africans leaving the continent, the links to criminality, global asylum and related issues, adding that this has entrenched a lopsided approach to the issue.

He therefore, expects the Forum to elevate the discussion and aim to emerge with a deeper understanding of the issue.

By Emmanuel K Dogbevi
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