GENEVA, Switzerland, May 17, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Namibia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, has organized a workshop on migration and development in Walvis Bay, Namibia.
The May 15th-17th event, financed by the IOM Development Fund, was attended by representatives from various government ministries.
Namibia is faced with various migration challenges, including irregular migration, human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants. The country has one of the highest percentages of international migrants in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and is also experiencing an increase in internal migration.
The development potential of migration remains largely untapped. But many see it as a potential contributor to development priorities including economic growth, reduced unemployment and increased income equality.
Workshop participants discussed these issues and drew up a set of concrete recommendations and a road map that will feed into the migration and development policy debate.
Opening the workshop, Namibian Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Pendukeni IIvula-Ithana noted that migration can be used effectively as a tool of development and that there is a need for new policies that recognize this potential.
“This workshop is a stepping stone towards a comprehensive migration policy for Namibia which would allow the country to maximize the development benefits of migration, while minimizing its challenges,” said IOM Head of Office, Ms Elham Pourazar.