The International Organization for Migration in West Africa: Why Its Role is Getting More Contested

Publication Date: 
Item Reference: 
Publication Place: 
UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
Publication Language: 
Policy Brief Type: 

This Policy Brief elaborates on the changing role of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in West Africa. In the wake of the ‘migration crisis’ of 2015 and 2016, the European Union (EU) has paid increasing attention to this African region, with the IOM implementing many of the new EU-funded projects. Building upon extensive fieldwork and research interviews in Dakar, Brussels and Accra, this policy brief demonstrates that the IOM has considerably extended its activities across the region, notably in areas such as capacity building and assisted voluntary return programs. However, this upgrade has brought about several challenges. African actors have started to contest IOM activities, notably if viewed to be biased in favor of European priorities. The policy brief concludes with a range of policy recommendations on how to enhance local ownership and better balance donor and African interests.

International Organization for Migration; West Africa; EU Migration Policy, Contestation