Editor’s Note: December 12, 2018

Should we care about the UN’s migration pact?

UN member states have adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration – the first  global intergovernmental agreement of its kind – during a two-day conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

A total of 164 countries have ratified the plan, which is being billed as a major milestone for international cooperation.

Sadly it serves mainly to underline how politicized and distorted the debate around migration has become. Media coverage has been dominated by the US’s refusal to participate and the withdrawal of a number of European countries led by Austria.

Their contention is the familiar hysterical populist narrative that the deal impedes national sovereignty.

This is a lie.

The agreement is not legally binding and has 23 tamely worded, non-enforceable objectives.

This includes ‘promoting evidence-based public discourse’, hinting at the deluge of misinformation surrounding the topic.

This has contributed to the perception that Africa, the only region to be singled out in the agreement as needing particular attention, is responsible for the bulk of international migration. In reality the continent accounts for the smallest share of international migrants at 14.6% according to the UN, with the majority being internal.

We’ll have to wait and see if the compact prompts action on this and its 22 other objectives, but it feels decidedly toothless.

From The Continent

Gabon’s oil sector union, the country’s biggest, has started a three-day strike over austerity measures introduced in June, part of reforms aimed at complying with a $642m IMF loan taken out in June 2017. The strike follows an anti-austerity march in the capital Libreville in August. More: Africanews

Tanzania is expected to sign a $3bn deal this week for the construction of a 2100MW hydroelectric power plant that could more than double the country’s power generating capacity. The contract has reportedly been awarded to Egyptian construction firm Arab Contractors. More: Reuters

The Daily Stat


The number of ghost workers an audit has revealed on Mozambique’s civil service payroll. More:BBC

The Global Perspective

France has said it has no objections in principle against lifting a UN arms embargo on Central African Republic after delivering 1,400 assault rifles to support security forces in its former colony. This comes amid growing competition with Russia for influence in the country, which has been in a state of conflict since a coup in 2013. More: Reuters

The UK’s development finance institution, CDC Group, has invested $180m in Africa-focused internet company Liquid Telecom to help fund the roll-out of broadband infrastructure on the continent. The deal comes a week after CDC announced plans to invest $4.5bn across Africa in the next four years. More: Business Day

The Daily Follow

IOM - UN Migration @UNmigration: News and updates from the International Organization for Migration.