Training for the study on Facilitating Intraregional Labour Migration within the ECOWAS Region

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The Migration Policy Centre (MPC) at the European University Institute (EUI) (Florence) and the ACP Observatory on Migration organized on 4-6 September 2012 a three days training on migration at the University of Ghana (Legon), with the aim of strengthening research capacities of the Centre for Migration Studies (University of Ghana) in the framework of the research project on Facilitating Intraregional Labour Migration within the ECOWAS Region.

The training included three sessions on migration statistics by Prof. Philippe Fargues, director of the MPC; migration and information on the labour market, by Prof. Ivan Martin, Associate researcher at the ICEI (Madrid); and the legal framework of free circulation, by Prof. Philippe de Bruycker, deputy director of the MPC. Moreover, Mr. Tony Elumelu, senior official at the Free Circulation Department of the ECOWAS Commission, presented the ECOWAS Common Approach to Migration. Finally, each researcher participating in the training presented an inception report of the work conducted in the framework of the project on intraregional labour migration within the ECOWAS, which was discussed by the MPC scientific coordinator and the trainers.

The first training session by Prof. Philippe Fargues discussed the issue of adopting common definition of international migrants, and producing accurate statistics. It presented practical solutions adopted for the countries of the Eastern and Southern neighbourhoods of Europe, and their adaptability to Sub-Saharan Africa. The second training session by Prof. Ivan Martin dealt with the structure of the labour market in ECOWAS countries, labour market policies, and labour market statistics, in relation with labour migration within the sub region. The third session by Prof. Philippe de Bruycker focused on free circulation in the EU with the aim of launching a comparative discussion to know if, and to what extent, the elements that favoured the development of free movement of persons in the EU are present in the context of West Africa.

Moreover, the ACP Observatory and the MPC distributed training materials to the participants (selected bibliography, hand-outs, and PowerPoint presentations) and presented series of research tools to be used by the CMS research, including the ACP Observatory Research guide and Editorial guidelines, MPC templates for data collection and the EUI online collaborative platform EUI Collab. The latter appears to be particularly useful to share data and documents in research projects which include participants scattered in several countries around the world.

The training is part of a research study that will produce a final report on labour mobility in the ECOWAS region to promote the adoption of adequate policies.