Representatives of the Togolese Government have completed a three-day study visit to Mali to share information on good practices related to the management of diasporas.
The visit, organized by IOM, was designed to share Mali’s experience in the management of its diaspora and to support Togolese government efforts to develop its migration policy and manage the Togolese Diaspora.
The Togolese delegation met with representatives of the General Delegation of Malians Abroad (DGME), the Information Center for the Management of Migration (CIGEM), the Co- Development programme (CODev) and the Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) programme.
These institutions and programs have been established by the Malian Government and partners to meet the needs of Malians abroad and help them to maintain strong ties with their country of origin.
The Minister for Malians Abroad, Dr. Abdourahamane Sylla, noted that Malian migrants have significantly contributed to the development of the country, particularly through remittances, which, according to the World Bank, reached CFA 431 billion (USD 908 million) in 2012, exceeding official international aid.
According to the Minister, 80 per cent of remittances contribute to the stability and income of families and households left behind; 15 per cent to the construction or rehabilitation of local infrastructure (schools, health centers, water facilities and mosques); and 5 per cent to income generating projects.
He also highlighted the importance of the existence of Malian associations abroad to facilitate communication with the government. Malian migrants contribute not only to the development of the country, but also act as “ambassadors” of Mali abroad, he noted.
Although there are no recent statistics on the number of Malian migrants living abroad, the General Delegation of Malians Abroad estimates that there were around 4 million in 2005, of whom 96.5 per cent were located in other West African countries, 2.7 per cent in Europe, 0.7 per cent in Asia and 0.1 per cent in America.
According to Antoine Gbekobu, a representative of the Togolese Government: “The exchange of information with the Malian government will contribute significantly to the formulation of Togolese migration policy, including the creation of programmes for Togolese migrants aimed at capitalizing on the positive relationship between migration and development.”
The Togolese diaspora is estimated at 2 million people. Remittances to Togo in 2013 reached CFA 187 billion (USD 394 million approx.) or 10 per cent of Togolese GDP.
The meeting was supported by the IOM missions in Mali and Togo and funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF).
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