The setting up of the African Migration Observatory, to be headquartered in Rabat, was proposed by King Mohammed VI, in his capacity as the AU leader on the issue of migration.
The proposal was endorsed by African heads of State at the 31st AU Summit held in Nouakchott last July and was included in the Marrakech Compact.
“The African Agenda has dedicated a fully-fledged institution to migratory dynamics, the African Observatory for Migration and Development, which will have its headquarters in the Kingdom of Morocco and which is explicitly mentioned in the Compact,” King Mohammed VI said in his message to the Marrakech Conference.
“My hope is to see the work of this Observatory effectively enhanced through networking with similar institutions in other regions,” he said, adding that the African continent will not be the subject of the Global Compact, but will be a key actor of the compact.
“The African Agenda on Migration has laid out its roadmap. It has played a pioneering role, anticipating the importance of being aware of migratory dynamics, something which has been acknowledged by the Global Compact,” he said.
The headquarters agreement was initialed by minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, who is attending the Marrakech Conference that was marked by the adoption Monday of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
The African Migration Observatory’s work is based on the triptych “understanding, anticipating and acting”. It is tasked with collecting information, promoting exchange of data and facilitating coordination between African countries on migration issues.
In a statement to the press following the signing ceremony, Faki stressed that this Observatory is an important tool for analyzing the phenomenon of migration and for obtaining reliable statistics that are specifically African.
“It is time for Africans to manage this (migratory) issue on their own,” said Faki, highlighting Africa’s strong adherence to the Global Compact on Migration, which includes “important provisions to protect migrants”.
The adoption of the Global Compact on Migration in Marrakech is the best illustration that migration is now at the heart of the Global and African Agenda, he said.
The Observatory is the beginning of the implementation of the Global Compact on Migration, which emphasizes that better knowledge of this phenomenon will lead to better management, Bourita said on his part.