Mamadou Togui Dabo, Foreign Affairs Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Mali, has just participated as an expert in the Action that MIEUX is leading and shares his experience with our readers.
Due to the unstable political situation, migration flows in the Central African Republic are mainly composed of internally displaced people and refugees. In addition, the exodus of many Central Africans to neighbouring or other countries has given rise to a large politically active diaspora that would like to engage with its country of origin. All these factors have prompted the Government of the Central African Republic, specifically the Ministry of Interior, Public Security and Territorial Administration, to prioritise the development of a comprehensive migration policy and capacity building for its staff. MIEUX is supporting these efforts by developing a practical roadmap for the development and implementation of future public policies, including an overview of training needs for migration officials. Mamadou Togui Dabo, Foreign Affairs Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Mali, has just participated as an expert in the Action that MIEUX is leading and shares his experience with our readers.
This is the first time you have participated in a MIEUX Action. What is your overall impression? Is there anything that surprised you or stood out in your experience?
First, it has been an honour and a privilege for me to take part in this activity [a workshop on the theme of irregular migration] in the Central African Republic. Through its expertise, professionalism and the quality of exchanges with its staff, the Initiative enjoys a high level of credit and a highly regarded reputation on the international scene. This reputation manifested above all by the welcome, respect, courtesy, enthusiasm and diligence shown by the Central African authorities and all the participants.
Then, I was pleasantly surprised in several respects, including the preparation of the activity between the experts and the MIEUX team; the willingness and determination of the Central African authorities to achieve better management of migration issues; the authorities' confidence in the MIEUX Programme; and finally, the quality of the exchanges between the experts and local participants.
In this regard, it is important to note that this activity has proved to be an excellent information-sharing session to discuss experiences on the prevention of irregular migration, inter-institutional migration management and other related issues. In short, this activity in the Central African Republic has allowed me to analyse further migration issues in another region of Africa, which has its own specificities.
What are the main similarities you perceive between Mali and the Central African Republic in terms of migration and population movements?
Both Mali and of Central African Republic share a large number of similarities in terms of migration and cross-cutting issues as they have been facing political and security crises in recent years, the main ones related to security challenges and to the need for socio-economic development.
As in Mali, migration appears to be a strategy for poverty alleviation based on the geo-economic and socio-cultural characteristics of the Central African Republic. But the major challenge remains the porous borders and the occupation of parts of their territories, which reinforce the activities of organisers of irregular migration and perpetrators of organized crime in these two countries of immigration, emigration and transit.
What other steps and conditions do you think are necessary for the development of the future migration policy?
In the context of developing its migration policy, the Central African Republic could undertake a number of actions, including calling on the national coordination of the Ministry of National Security to develop terms of reference for the future migration policy and have them validated by an inter-ministerial meeting.
In order to achieve national ownership of this policy, these terms of reference must provide for national consultations throughout the Central African territory in order to meet all actors (State and non-State) involved in migration issues. The Central African diaspora should also be involved.
These consultations will be able to involve all stakeholders and take into account their opinions, concerns and perspectives and will provide relevant information to define what the most updated national context is. Finally, they will inform the formulation of objectives, strategic axes, indicators and activities that should be foreseen in the future in order to create an effective and comprehensive approach to migration in the Central African Republic. Equipped with all this information, the Commission will thus be able to undertake the drafting of a migration policy project that will have to include strategies for action under its strategic axes through an action plan.