All Africa Games: IOM Engages Youth on Benefits of Migration

Participant joining the discussions on youth mobility in Africa. Photo: IOM Ghana 2024/Francis Kokoroko

Walter Kasempa, AU IOM Youth Ambassador, and Theodora Masango Regional Director, Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs, discussing youth mobility and migration in Africa. Photo: IOM Ghana 2024/Francis Kokoroko

 Over 100 youth and dignitaries met at the African Games Youth Pavilion in Accra. Photo: IOM Ghana 2024/Francis Kokoroko

Accra - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) engaged with hundreds of young people at a Youth Pavilion organised in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and other partners on the sidelines of the 13th All-Africa Games in Accra, Ghana.

IOM’s sessions at the Youth Pavilion underscored the importance of nurturing skills development and facilitating freer human mobility and regular migration pathways in Africa to empower young people to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the continent.

Fighting irregular migration and human trafficking was also part of the conversation with an emphasis on IOM-supported preventive strategies such as awareness campaigns and community-based projects.

"IOM acknowledges that youth have the capacity to lead constructive change and actively participate in the advancement of their local communities," said Cisse Mariama Mohamed, Director of IOM’s Special Liaison Office to the African Union and UNECA.

"Through our focused programmes, IOM provides youth with the tools they need to navigate a fast-changing economic landscape by offering opportunities for skill-building, vocational training, and entrepreneurship. Our partnerships across Africa stress that borders should serve as bridges for African development, rather than barriers," she added.

Considering that about 70 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa is under 30 years old, recognized as the largest in history, the Organization is responding to this demographic reality: IOM is engaging with young people to safeguard them from potential dangers associated with irregular migration while equipping them with knowledge to make informed decisions about their future – be it through safe migration pathways or through exploring opportunities in their countries of origin.

To achieve this, IOM works closely with the youth, for example through the African Migration Youth Ambassadors appointed in 2023 by IOM in conjunction with the AU Office of the Youth Envoy and the African Union Commission Women, Gender and Youth Directorate.

This initiative aims to strengthen youth voices and provide a platform for youth as agents of change in the field of migration. It does so by fostering dialogue among young people on free movement and legal migration pathways, skills development, and protection issues.

“The encounters at the Youth Pavilion have highlighted the importance of partnerships – across the continent as well as locally where our collaboration with the Ghana Ministry of Youth and Sports has been further strengthened to ensure that no young person is left behind,” said IOM Ghana Chief of Mission Fatou Diallo Ndiaye. “We stand ready to support the youth to recognize their strengths, talents, and potential, and empower them to pursue their dreams with determination and conviction.”

The youth at the Pavilion was further empowered through words of encouragement by IOM Goodwill Ambassador Paul Choy (Mauritius), and special video messages from IOM Goodwill Ambassadors Ama K. Abebrese and Kofi Kinaata (Ghana).

Overall, IOM’s sessions at the AU’s Youth Pavilion provided a platform for meaningful discussions on migration, mobility, and youth development, ultimately contributing to the broader conversation on shaping Africa's future.

These activities were made possible with the support of the Africa Regional Migration Program (ARMP), funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and the Sida-funded project to accelerate ratification of the Free Movement of Persons Protocol in Africa.


For more information contact:

Eric Mazango, IOM Ethiopia

Juliane Reissig, IOM Ghana


SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
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