The AU Commission will launch the African Centre for the Study and Research on Migration (CARIM) in Bamako, Mali on the 19th March 2021. CARIM will serve as a specialized technical office to advance the knowledge base of the African continent on migration and mobility, and contribute to evidence-based interventions on migration in Africa. This follows the inauguration of the African Migration Observatory (the Observatory) which was launched in Rabat, Morocco on 18 December 2021. The CARIM will be established on the back of decision Assembly/AU/Dec.758(XXXIII) of the 33rd AU Assembly of February 2020 which adopted the Statute for the establishment of the agency under the Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development.
Working in collaboration with the Observatory, the Continental Operational Centre in Khartoum (forthcoming) and the Tunis-based Pan-African Institute for Statistics (STATARFIC) and other research and capacity building facilities on the continent and beyond, the CARIM will have a number of functions, including the following:
Undertake empirical, applied research on all aspects of migration and mobility;
Conduct actionable migration policy formulation and implementation for AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs);
Prepare and disseminate a journal and periodic reports on the state of migration and migration governance in Africa;
Prepare position papers on migration and mobility for the African Union;
Provide technical assistance, training and capacity building on migration and mobility to the AU Commission, AU organs, Member States and RECs;
Provide a platform for experts, policy makers, African diplomats and academics to debate migration and mobility issues on the Continent; and
Serve as an interface between Members States, RECs, African/African Diaspora think tanks and civil society organizations on the migration debate.
It is noteworthy that during the plan period of the AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA): 2018 – 2030, the AU Commission has prioritizes building the capacity of Member States and RECs in the area of migration governance, an issue that is fundamental to the coherent management of migration on the continent. Therefore, within the context of the aforementioned functions, the CARIM will endeavour to improve the overall migration governance regime in Africa as it guides the continent in implementing MPFA, while simultaneously feeding Africa with up-to-date information on migration through studies and research.
With the inauguration on 19 March, 2021, the CARIM is expected to start operations immediately thanks to the provision of an office building, furniture, equipment and amenities by the host government, the Government of the Republic of Mali.