The Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) initiative was launched in 2001 and is based on the Return of Qualified African Nationals (RQAN) experience, which started in the 1970s.The Heads of State of the African Union ratified the The strategy of Migration for Development of Africa, who in Lusaka in 2001 recognized the need to face up to the challenges of migration on the continent and develop a strategic framework for a migration policy in Africa.
It was agreed to construct effective tools so that all aspects of migration can contribute to the development of the economic and social systems of the developing countries.
The MIDA framework was established to help the development of African nations by creating and reinforcing links between diaspora communities and their countries of origin. The purpose of the MIDA concept is to identify and select suitable diaspora professionals and finance their return for short-term assignments. The selection process is done in collaboration with local institutions. IOM is facilitating their settling in into both professional and personal environments in the countries of origin. The main goal is to contribute to rebuilding and strengthening a depleted human resource base in selected sectors and to increase the capacity of the receiving institutions both at staff and institutional level. This approach was endorsed by the African Union, and has been implemented in over 30 African countries to date.
To ensure the full success of the links between Migration and Development it is crucial to involve state actors, institutions of higher education and the associations of expatriate Africans. In order to go beyond MIDA, there is a need to make a contribution to the programme of education and training within the knowledge-creating structures. It is important to target the centres of education, the poles of excellence, because it is there that the knowledge is created to develop curricula for training in managing migration.
In Somalia IOM incorporates MIDA components in several projects. Each of them has a specific set of objectives, yet they are mutually complimentary since their primary object is to enhance the Somali authorities’ ability to respond to the needs of its people through the skills and knowledge of the Somali diaspora. The MIDA FINNSOM Health (in Somaliland) as well as MIDA FINNSOM Health and Education (in Southern Somalia and Puntland) portfolios are part of IOM’s MIDA framework.
This initiative intends to promote the role of the African diasporas in the strengthening of the institutional capacities of the African continent, through mobility of resources: human, intellectual and financial.
The MIDA programmes make it possible to address the needs and gaps of the public sector in African countries. The multi-year and multisectoral MIDA-programmes are in line with the national strategies, sectoral action plans, and take development indicators into account.
Through outreach events information on the programmes is shared for diaspora members who would be potentially interested in participating the programmes by temporarily returning to their countries of origin. Diaspora members bring their valuable professional contribution to develop and rebuild the public sector service provision in their countries of origin. They are highly motivated to assist the country of origin and due to their socio-cultural background and connections, able to efficiently integrate themselves in the local institutions.
IOM has constantly been advocating for the establishment of strategies allowing for greater international cooperation between migrants’ countries of origin and host countries, engaging the migrants themselves. Mobilization of the diaspora and its human and financial capacities are integral parts of the MIDA policy and strategy of the IOM.
Benefits of the MIDA initiative has been as follows:
- Recognition by national institutions of the positive contribution by migrants to the process of developing and strengthening their capacities (as in the Great Lakes MIDA);
- The lasting tie created between the diaspora and the country of origin has the effect of strengthening the positive picture of the country among the expatriates and also within the population. Similarly it brings about reconciliation, when necessary, between the migrants and their countries of origin (Somalia, DRC, Burundi and Rwanda);
- The exchange of best practices, working methods and management techniques, between the migrants and their countries of origin (MIDA FINNSOM in Somalia);
- The creation of lasting ties, twinning, and exchanges between national enterprises and institutions of higher education and scientific ( for example DRC, Burundi and Rwanda diasporas, the Universities of Brussels, Louvain, etc.);
- The opening of paths of cooperation and professional agreements of the private sectors in the countries of origin, to promote a quality of production, an extended distribution, the opening of markets, or even exports (example : private companies in Burundi and expatriates in the private sector in Belgium).
About MIDA IOM: https://www.iom.int/mida