Regional strategy for WCA 2017 - 2019


More than 230 million people resided outside their home country in 2013, 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 2017/2019 as:

  • Migration policy development and inter-state dialogue;
  • Labour migration and development;
  • Migrant protection and assistance;
  • 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.