Migration within the Horn: Balancing regional integration and national interests

The Life & Peace Institute’s Horn of Africa Regional Program held its first Horn of Africa Bulletin Forum (HABForum) on ’Mobility and Migration in in the Horn of Africa: East African Migrants in South Sudan’. The Forum, which was held on Oct. 1st, was opened by the South Sudanese Ambassador to Ethiopia, and convened civil society actors, international organizations, IGAD and the African Union.

The objective of the Forum was to shed light on a less discussed type of migration in the Horn of Africa where migrants in the region stay in the region in search of economic opportunities by looking at the case of South Sudan.


In his opening remarks, the Ambassador of the Republic of South Sudan to Ethiopia, Mr. Akuei Bona Malwal noted that there were spaces and opportunities for investment in South Sudan, despite the conflict. It was also noted during the Forum that South Sudan, which hosts both skilled and unskilled, long term and transient economic migrants from the region and beyond presents a unique case study of intraregional migration where it serves as a country of origin, transition and destination for tens of thousands of migrants.


The Forum also looked in to IGAD’s framework on migration. Accordingly, Ms. Caroline Njuki of IGAD emphasized the need for a harmonized regional migration policy and advocated for mechanisms that facilitate the free movement of persons and of goods within IGAD while protecting domestic economic interests. It was highlighted in the Forum that governments should pay attention to the informal sector as it is a significant aspect of regional economic exchange and employment in Africa in general and in the Horn of Africa in particular.


Reminding participants that “the responsibility to act on migration challenges lies with all of us”, the Resident Representative of the Life and Peace Institute Horn of Africa Regional Program, Hannah Tsadik. Ms. Tsadik also mentioned that, the Horn of Africa Bulletin (HAB) Forum will be a bi-monthly, interactive Forum that will bring together academic, civil society, governmental and intergovernmental policy stakeholders to deliberate on issues pertinent o the Horn of Africa.


Photo: Caption: The panelists from left: Mr. Clement Baime (Director-General of Labour and Industrial Relations, Republic of South Sudan), Prof. Venansio
Muludiang (Professor of Demography at University of Juba), Caroline Njuki
(Regional Migration & Partnership Coordinator at IGAD) and Seifgebre Seyoum (Ethiopian businessman working in South Sudan)

Photo: Life and Peace

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