Côte d'Ivoire stands to benefit by strengthening its current efforts to make migration an integral part of its development strategies. This is the conclusion of a new joint report by the OECD Development Centre and the Centre ivoirien de recherches économiques et sociales (CIRES) entitled Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development (IPPMD) in Côte d'Ivoire.
The report was launched today in Côte d'Ivoire in the presence of Mrs Nialé Kaba, Minister for Planning and Development, Mrs Daniela Rofi, Chargée d’affaires a.i. of the Delegation of the European Union in Côte d'Ivoire, and representatives from Côte d'Ivoire’s ministries of Employment and Social Protection, National Education, Technical Education and Vocational Training, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Economy and Finance, as well as the International Organization for Migration.
IPPMD in Côte d'Ivoire analyses the impact of migration on key components of Côte d'Ivoire's public policy relating to the labour market, agriculture, education, investment and financial services, andsocial protection and health. It also examines the influence of policies adopted in these sectors on a range of migration outcomes, such as the decision to emigrate or return, the use of remittances and the integration of immigrants.
The report is the result of four years of field work, empirical analysis and policy dialogue, including data collection from 2 345 households in Côte d’Ivoire (13 337 individuals living in Côte d’Ivoire and 630 emigrants). The results are based on an innovative household survey, which for the first time combines questions on migration and public policy. It is part of a larger comparative project co-financed by the European Union, which covers nine other countries: Armenia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Haiti, Morocco and the Philippines.
Migrants and the remittances they send back contribute to the development of their country of origin. Immigrants, with about 60% coming from Burkina Faso, account for around 10% of Côte d'Ivoire’s population. On the other hand, Côte d'Ivoire's emigrants represent around 4% of its population, with more than half living in Burkina Faso. Remittances from these emigrants amounted to only 1% of gross domestic product in 2015, the lowest amongst the ten countries included in the comparative project. Despite their low rate, remittances are channelled towards education.
The report shows that immigrants in Côte d'Ivoire are less likely to benefit from social protection and attend school than those born in Côte d'Ivoire, making their economic and social integration difficult. Nevertheless, in Côte d'Ivoire, immigration favours the diversification and expansion of agricultural activities. Moreover, vocational training programmes tend to increase emigration from Côte d'Ivoire, presumably because the skills acquired are more useful in the international labour market than in the domestic market. In view of these findings, the report recommends that public policies in Côte d'Ivoire systematically take into account the multiple consequences of migration, as well as the impact of sectoral policies on migration. Since 2014, Côte d'Ivoire has been working on a national migration policy strategy and organises fora for its diaspora. This strategy would benefit from how each ministry examines sectoral strategies throughout the country and how ongoing participation from migration experts informs these debates.
Ultimately, national authorities should aim to create an environment in which Ivoirians leave their country by choice, not because of a lack of opportunities. Those who migrate can still contribute to the development of their country of origin, and those who immigrate can contribute to the development of their host country.
For more information on the IPPMD project, please visit: http://www.oecd.org/dev/migration-development/ippmd.htm
To request an interview or a copy of the report, contact Jason Gagnon (firstname.lastname@example.org, +33 (0) 1 45 24 98 94) of the OECD Development Centre.