Benin, Cameroon, Mali and Senegal: working together towards efficient labour migration management

Benin, Cameroon, Mali and Senegal: working together towards efficient labour migration management

The “Partnership for labour migration management” Partenariat pour la gestion des migrations professionnelles, PGMP project, co-funded by the EU under the Migration and Asylum Thematic Programme, supports the Public Employment Services (PES) of four African countries: Benin, Cameroon, Mali and Senegal.

GIP International -a grouping of the main institutional French actors in the areas of employment, vocational training and migration- leads the consortium implementing the project. This consortium also includes partners from Belgium, Italy and Spain, as well the International Organisation for Migration.

The project aims at fostering the promotion and efficient management of labour migration within the region and towards the Member States of the EU through the strengthening of the institutional and operational capacities of the PES from the four beneficiary countries. It is also intended to enhance the positive impact of labour migration on development and encourage cooperation and dialogue between source and destination countries.

Activities focus in particular on the development of specific international skills matching and mobility services within the PES, targeting would be migrants and offering national alternatives to migration projects doomed to failure. In addition to operational support for these services, several training modules have been designed for PES agents. They cover the support to international mobility projects and intermediation, the facilitation of sensitisation and preparation workshops for international migration, as well as regulatory and deontological frameworks for managing international migration.

The project also supports the elaboration of different tools for the PES. One of fundamental importance is the implementation of a common occupational classification named ROAME (Répertoire Opérationnel Africain des Métiers et Emplois: African Employment and Occupations Operational Index) in the four target countries, as a support tool for both skills matching and a better understanding of labour market dynamics. The development of PES’ information systems –“Accueil Emploi” implemented in partnership with ILO Migrant- which registers data on job-seekers and job offers available nationally and internationally, is a prerequisite for the provision of efficient skills matching services and is a key activity of the project.

Through the production of studies aimed at enhancing the understanding of labour migration and the organisation of national events in partner countries, the project actively contributes to the better integration of labour migration in national strategies and policies, while the organisation of regular seminars which gathers representatives of the four countries facilitates the sharing of experiences and continual learning.

Lessons learnt and the way forward

After two and a half years the project came to an end in June 2011, and it is therefore time to assess the results achieved and draw lessons for the future. The seminar held in Dakar on “Lessons learnt and the way forward” (29-31 March 2011) addressed these questions.

One of the key lessons of the project is the necessity to simultaneously work on national and international skills matching due to the globalised economy, the needs in receiving countries and the priorities of sending countries in their own labour markets.

The project is also a very successful experiment in terms of South-South cooperation. Benchmark workshops were held with the Moroccan and Tunisian PES (ANAPEC and ANETI), which have both received support under EU-funded projects in the past.

The next step is geared towards expanding the regional coverage of the tools that have been developed, such as the ROAME classification or Accueil Emploi. This challenge is at the heart of the Dakar Declaration adopted during the March seminar by the representatives of the four countries involved in the project, which calls on the African Union and the RECs to focus more strongly on the role PES can play in promoting and regulating labour migration at regional and sub-regional level.