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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speaks at the meeting of the High-Level Panel on International Migration in Africa

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

Former President of Liberia and 2017 Ibrahim Laureate, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attended a press briefing to explain the establishment of the High-Level Panel on International Migration in Africa and highlight some of the challenges and opportunities on this matter.

She pointed out that the panel aims to shed a light on important issues related to international migration in Africa, focusing not only on remittances but also on the greater expertise and business investment brought by the diaspora. The need to demystify and correct the negative narrative associated with African migration was also one of the topics addressed.

According to President Johnson Sirleaf, most Africans living outside the continent are not necessarily from the poorest communities in Africa. On the contrary, countries with high levels of economic and human development, such as Algeria, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia tend to have the highest immigration rates outside the continent in comparison to poorer African countries. Despite some exceptions with large diaspora populations from Ethiopia and Somalia, the majority of migrants tend to be young, male and with a basic level of education.

Additionally, the implementation of the main elements outlined in the Global Compact for Migration agreement to address the challenges posed by international migration was discussed. The 2017 Ibrahim Laureate emphasised the benefits of stronger regional integration and labour mobility across the continent, pointing out the crucial importance of robust, reliable and regular data to foster a wider and informed conversation on African migration.

Watch the briefing below:

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Q&A session:

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