The theme selected for the 2019 Ibrahim Forum discussions is African migrations.

Migration, whether referring to economic migrants or refugees and related issues, is currently triggering overheated and political reactions, especially outside the continent, that often are fragmented or overlook the real dynamics. Hence the interest of an African-led, African-based, fact-based frank and open discussion, de-linked from any political agenda.

The annual Forum Report compiles the most relevant and recent data and insights on the selected topic. With facts and figures on migrations, youth, mobility and jobs in Africa, the Report will provide an evidence-based picture on the reality on the continent and will present the African perspective on these topics, thus offering a different narrative. The Report will analyse the specificity of Africa’s context. Contrary to common perceptions, migrations are mainly internal and driven by the need for jobs and mobility rather than conflict or climate hazards, in the only continent left where youth is becoming the overwhelming majority of the population and sustainable economic opportunities and employment prospects are in decline.

Across the world, migrations have occurred over centuries, are part of the shaping of many strong nations, and drive demographic dynamics. In a century shaped by globalisation and growing communications infrastructures, both formal and informal, migrations cannot be prevented, but must be better managed. The Forum discussions will also look at avenues to strengthen the capacity of the continent to assess its specific needs and find owned solutions, to make the most of its best potential: human capital. Besides policies to improve mobility within the continent and strengthen skills to equip the working age population for the expected 4th industrial revolution, mitigation policies should also make sure that no one is left behind.