The West and Central Africa region is a vast and diverse socioeconomic and geopolitical landscape beset by myriad challenges but is also rich in opportunities. Migration – in all its forms – is a defining characteristic of this landscape, and as such, has immense potential in serving the well-being of people and societies across the region, for example, by enabling the exchange of ideas, facilitating intraregional and transregional mobility, catalysing economic growth and increased prosperity. Despite these benefits, the promise of well-managed migration and increased mobility within the region cannot be taken for granted. Countries face a range of structural and ad hoc challenges that threaten to undermine stability, security and development, potentially giving rise to further migration-related challenges. Notwithstanding, there also are opportunities to leverage migration as a solution to such issues while contributing to broader socioeconomic development.

The core values and principles of IOM are at the heart of its work. The Organization holds itself to high standards, guided by the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, including upholding human rights for all. Respect for the rights, dignity, empowerment and well-being of all migrants and (associated) communities remains paramount. IOM has always assisted governments in their effective implementation of international standards in its programming and will continue to do so. In addition to the values enshrined in the IOM Constitution, the Organization continues to adhere to the core United Nations values of integrity, professionalism, equality and respect for diversity, ensures that it is accountable to its beneficiaries, and plays an active role in preventing sexual exploitation and abuse.

IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. Therefore, the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa has defined three regional strategic objectives for the 2020–2024 period based on the three pillars of the IOM Strategic Vision (2019–2023). These objectives are mutually reinforcing and indicative of the Organization’s ambition to be the driving force in the global conversation on migration. They respond to current and emerging challenges, positioning the Organization to better serve Member States and migrant populations throughout all stages of their journey across the West and Central Africa region and beyond. Furthermore, they are in line with the commitment of IOM to assist Member States in implementing intergovernmental commitments, such as the Global Compact for Migration, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Based on the IOM Strategic Vision and the IOM Continental Strategy for Africa, IOM in West and Central Africa will pursue the following objectives under the three pillars of resilience, mobility and governance.