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Migration Governance Architecture in West Africa: The Case of ECOWAS

Introduction This policy brief is the product of a webinar organized by the Platform to revisit the architecture of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) migration governance structures and processes in its entirety. As a regional body, ECOWAS has instituted significant formal power to promote a viable government approach to migration governance with regards to the member states in the region. Migration in West African countries has been circular in many ways. This is due to the long tradition of seasonal labour migration that has been a feature of migration over many decades. The webinar reflected on the lessons learned from the role that ECOWAS plays in terms of institutional norm-setting, policy processes, and practical implementation of the migration dynamics in the region. It also reflected on the constraints and existing challenges that need to be addressed as well as positive examples and experiences that must be built on in order to achieve a better migration governance system in the West Africa region in the short- and medium-term. The webinar concluded by highlighting a set of challenges as well as potential solutions that can be deployed to address them effectively. The main outcomes of the webinar are briefly presented in subsequent sections of this policy brief.

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