Category Archives: ECOWAS

DIIS Seminar: Recreating a Borderless West Africa: Migration Management by ECOWAS (Copenhagen, 24 Oct)

The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) will hold a seminar (English) in Copenhagen on 24 October 2011, 14.00-16.30.  Advance registration is required.  Registration deadline is Friday, 21 October 2011 at 12.00 noon.  Click here for more information.

From the DIIS announcement:  “Historically, migrants have regarded West Africa as a sub-region of free movement. Independence has altered the traditionally borderless migration systems, while recent political and economic crises in formerly labor-importing countries of the sub-region have led to restricted regulations on migration and a series of expulsions. The free movement of persons within the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) community is an enduring achievement of the organization. Targets are set for a community passport and a single monetary zone. This seminar will look closer at the functioning of the ECOWAS secretariat in a context of wavering political support, political instability, inter-state border disputes not to mention increased pressure for migration due to two decades of economic downfall. The focus on migration will increase the understanding of the bottlenecks of an organization that during the first 25 years of existence was largely based on state-to-state relations, but where migration is transforming the traditional linguistic divide between countries that are themselves metamorphosing from immigrant-receiving to transit to migrant-sending countries.


Sanoh N’Fally is the Director of Free Movement for ECOWAS under the Office of the Commissioner of Trade, Customs and Free Movement….

Cathrine Withol de Wenden is a Professor at Sciences Politiques in Paris. Her research focuses on the relationship between migration and politics, migration flows, migration policies and citizenship in Europe and in the rest of the world. She is the author of “The Borders and Boundaries of Mobility” in Antoine Pécoud & Paul de gutcheneire (eds), Migrations without Borders: A Global Perspective, (UNESCO/Berghahn, 2007) as well as Atlas of Migration in the World: Refugees or Voluntary Migrants (Autrement, 2005).

Anne Sofie Westh Olsen is a PhD Candidate at the Danish Institute for International Studies. Her current research covers West African migration, both in terms of intra-regional flows and return elite migrants. She is the author of the DIIS working paper Reconsidering West African Migration: Changing focus from European immigration to intra-regional flows.”

Click here for more information.

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DIIS Policy Brief: Europe Fighting Irregular Migration – Consequences of European non-entry policies for West African Mobility

A new Policy Brief from DIIS by Nauja Kleist, “Europe Fighting Irregular Migration – Consequences of European non-entry policies for West African Mobility.”

Abstract: “In collaboration with African countries, the EU is fighting irregular migration to Europe through border control and deportations. However, rather than halting irregular migration, such policies reconfigure mobility flows and make migration routes more dangerous and difficult. The phenomenon of migrants and asylum-seekers crossing the Mediterranean in boats to reach Europe is just one example of this phenomenon.

In this DIIS Policy Brief, Nauja Kleist explores the consequences of EU migration policies and the fight against irregular migration, focusing on West African migration. The overall policy tendency is a differentiation of African migration flows, making mobility easier for educated and privileged groups and more difficult and dangerous for the large majority of migrants. Likewise there is a tendency to conflate migration within Africa – by far the largest and most important aspect of West African migration – with migration towards Europe.

Examining some of the main routes and migration systems between West and North Africa, the brief recommends to ensure evidence-based and context-sensitive migration polices, to carefully consider the human and politics costs of externalizing border control, and to ensure further access to legal and safe migration.”

Click here for full document.

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Filed under Analysis, Eastern Atlantic, ECOWAS, European Union, Frontex, Mauritania, Mediterranean, Morocco, Reports, Senegal, Spain

España ha destinado al menos un 5% de la ayuda en África Occidental a control de fronteras e intereses comerciales

A new report from Entreculturas and Alboan:

“Casi 25 millones de euros de un total de 466 es la Ayuda Oficial al Desarrollo destinada a países de África Occidental cuestionada por contribuir más a intereses de la política de migraciones que al desarrollo humano y lucha contra la pobreza durante el periodo 2004-2008. Es una de las conclusiones del informe “Políticas de control migratorio y de cooperación al desarrollo entre España y África Occidental durante la ejecución del primer Plan África” presentado por Entreculturas y Alboan….”

Resumen: “En el marco de la coherencia de políticas a favor del desarrollo, y con el objetivo de investigar si la cooperación bilateral española está condicionada por intereses de control de los flujos migratorios, las ONG Alboan y Entreculturas presentan el informe Políticas de control migratorio y de cooperación al desarrollo entre España y África Occidental durante la ejecución del primer Plan África que analiza el destino de la ayuda oficial al desarrollo (AOD). España  durante los años 2004 – 2008 ha destinado 25 millones de euros de AOD a proyectos que tienen más relación con el control de fronteras e intereses comerciales que con el desarrollo humano y lucha contra la pobreza. Esto supone un 5,2% de del total de la ayuda de AOD bilateral en África Occidental.”

Click here (ES) or here (ES) for full report.

Click here (ES) for news article.

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Filed under Eastern Atlantic, ECOWAS, News, Reports, Senegal, Spain

First Summit Meeting Between Spanish PM and ECOWAS (News)

West African ECOWAS leaders met with Spanish PM on 22 June.  Spain pledged 262 million euros for projects in ECOWAS nations.  Increasing ties with west African countries is a priority for Spain due in part to efforts to reduce illegal migration from the area.

“Stepped-up surveillance and cooperation with African nations has meant the number of migrants reaching the Canaries dropped to 9,181 last year from to 12,478 in 2007 and 31,678 in 2006, Spain said in January.”

Click here for full article.

Click here for brief Spanish Foreign Ministry media release.

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15th ECOWAS-EU Ministerial Troika Meeting (Communiqué)

Excerpts From Final Communiqué – 16 June 2009

“1. The fifteenth ministerial Troika meeting between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU) was held in Luxembourg on June 16, 2009 under the Co–Chairs of Ambassador Bagudu M. Hirse, Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria and Mr. Tomáš Pojar, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

“36. ECOWAS and the EU reaffirmed the need to reinforce their cooperation in the area of migration and development. In this context, they welcomed the Declaration adopted at the second Euro-African Ministerial Conference on migration and development, held in Paris on November 25, 2008, which provides a good basis for developing their cooperation. The Declaration encompasses in a comprehensive and balanced way all the issues relating to migration, by addressing the facilitation of legal migration, the fight against illegal migration, as well as the synergies between migration and development. Moreover, the Declaration establishes a three year cooperation programme (2009-2011), which identifies concrete actions and measures to be taken in the relevant areas. Both Parties underlined their commitment to actively work for the implementation of the declaration and of its cooperation programme.

“37. ECOWAS informed the EU on the state of play of preparation of its regional action plan on migration and the EU reaffirmed its willingness to support it through the Regional indicative programme under the 10th EDF.

“38. The two Parties further agreed to step up expert-level discussions on migration related issues involving interested Member States in future meetings of the joint working group on migration, with a view to identifying concrete areas of cooperation that could be developed, in particular within the framework of the Regional indicative programme.”

For the full text of the Final Communiqué, click here.

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