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SADC Officials Gather in Zambia to Enhance Migration Data Management

Government representatives from Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states convened in Livingstone, Zambia, from May 6th to 10th, 2024, for a crucial meeting aimed at improving the collection and management of migration data across the region.

The conference, attended by Heads of Immigration, Labour Commissioners, and Statistics, focused on the reporting of key indicators outlined in the SADC Regional Migration Policy Framework and Action Plan, as well as the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) Reporting Matrix.

Participants aimed to align their efforts with SADC’s vision for regional integration and socio-economic development, as outlined in initiatives such as the SADC Vision 2050 and the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) for 2020-2030.

Dr. Japhet M. Lishomwa, Director General for Immigration of Zambia, emphasized the pivotal role of immigration authorities, labor commissioners, and statistical agencies in accurately reporting on the implementation of migration policies.

He stressed the importance of data collection, analysis, and reporting in tracking progress towards achieving the goals of the GCM and the SADC Regional Migration Policy Framework.

Professor Kula I. Theletsane, Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Affairs at the SADC Secretariat, highlighted the significance of migration statistics in facilitating evidence-based policies and promoting regional integration and development.

He emphasized the need for comprehensive, disaggregated data to ensure that all migrants, especially the most vulnerable, are accounted for and that their contributions to the economy are recognized.

Mati Hashemee, Regional Director of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), commended the progress made in regional integration efforts, citing improvements in cross-border transport infrastructure and increased opportunities for circular cross-border trade.

He also noted the easing of visa restrictions among SADC countries in line with the SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of Movements of Persons.

The meeting successfully consolidated data from various sources, including census and labor reports, government statistics, civil registries, and law enforcement reports.

Additional source: SADC

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