Regional strategy for WCA 2014 - 2016



More than 230 million people resided outside their home country in 2013[1], and there is no longer a single state that can claim to be untouched by human mobility. Migration is a key dimension of both globalization and development, and international migration has become one of the foremost topics of the 21st century.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has a lead role at the global level on migration management activities. Its Regional Office for West and Central Africa, based in Dakar, covers 23 countries and 5 regional economic communities.

Migration across West and Central Africa is illustrated through varied patterns and flows, in turn, highlight important challenges, included the lack of migration data, weak border management and controls, lack of harmonized migration management plans, recurrent need of humanitarian assistance, irregular migration and human trafficking, and the overall increasing vulnerability of migrants.

The region is prone to chronic humanitarian crises linked to conflict and environmental conditions which lead to widespread population displacement within the region. The current situation represents not only a challenge for the affected countries but also for the region as a whole.  Likewise, it is a challenge for IOM and its partners to develop policy and address operational migration challenges at the regional and national level.

This Regional Strategy aims to provide a strategic framework for responding to the particular challenges and opportunities faced in the region. Taking into account the dynamic nature of migration and the regional context, this strategy identifies the key areas of intervention for 2014/2016 as:

  • Migration policy development and inter-state dialogue;
  • Labour migration and development;
  • Migrant assistance and protection;
  • Physical, mental and social well-being of migrants and communities;
  • Integrated border management and risk analysis;
  • Preparedness to respond to migration crises.

The overall objective remains to uphold the rights and meet the needs of migrants, harness the benefits of migration, address its challenges and constraints, mitigate the associated risks, and govern migration. The strategy is based on the IOM Strategic approach which emphasizes the importance of facilitating human and orderly migration for the benefit all.


Introduction (click to read)

Key areas of intervention (click to read)

The way forward

The IOM Regional Strategy is a three years strategic framework for the West and Central Africa region. IOM will review it annually to ensure its compliance with emerging issues and priorities in the region.

The Regional Strategy is designed to build on the past endeavours of IOM in the region as well as to develop new initiatives to support targeted population groups (IDPs, refugees, returnees, migrants, etc.). The goal of IOM is to build local, national and regional capacities to effectively and humanely manage migration and to ensure and promote local, national, and regional ownership of the projects’ results implemented with the support of IOM.

Through the Regional Strategy, IOM will strengthen its engagement and collaboration with the Civil Society Organizations and strive to be gender-sensitive by taking into consideration the specific needs of women and men in its outreach with partners and in its projects. It will also give particular attention to youth needs in relation to the emerging demographic trends environmental issues, vulnerability of countries in the region due to conflict and natural disasters, and in line with the Human Rights Based Approach, IOM will promote and strengthen the protection of human rights of migrants.

IOM looks forward to continue to work with its partners for responding to the migration's challenges and opportunities faced in the West and Central Africa region.


[1] United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, September 2013.

[2] MC/INF/287, IOM Strategy: Council Resolution n°1150 (XCIII) and Annex.

[3] All of which are IOM Member States except Sao Tome & Principe and Equatorial Guinea.