IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre in Tanzania this week celebrated five years in operation. Since 2009 it has trained some 3,500 border officials from 47 countries in border management and migration.
But the work of ACBC is not only aimed at improving the migration capacity of African states. Ultimately it is migrants themselves that should reap the benefits of enhanced and effective systems of migration management, according to IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission Damien Thuriaux.
For example, when the ACBC conducted an assessment of the border resident card regime along the Angola-Namibia border in 2013, multi-stakeholder consultations included the views of Angolan migrants residing in border areas, who make frequent border crossings to meet their daily needs, he notes.
"The ACBC, which is hosted by the Tanzania Regional Training Academy (TRITA) in Moshi, will also diversify its training programme to include new subjects such as migration, environment and climate change, and migration and health," he added.
At the regional level, the ACBC has promoted integration and cooperation on border and migration management issues between African States. It has also provided capacity building assistance to the East African Community States on the implementation of the Common Market Protocol, which allows for the free movement of persons and workers, through a series of trainings and consultations.
Immigration officers from West African states have also been trained on the legal framework for tackling smuggling and trafficking, as laid down by the ECOWAS protocol on the free movement of persons.
Among the ACBC's success stories are its work in South Sudan, where ACBC staff delivered training on detection of forged documents and impostors to border guards from Juba International airport and three border crossing along the Ugandan (Nimule and Kaya) and Kenyan (Nadapal) borders in 2013.
Held as part of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office-funded Capacity Building for Migration Management project, the training enabled one immigration officer to apprehend an individual travelling on a forged passport a few days later.
In Nigeria the ACBC also helped to establish the first ever National Intelligence Unit for the Nigerian Immigration Services. This was in response to the relatively new terrorist threat, a steady rise in human trafficking and the growth in irregular migration routes from Nigeria to Europe.
Under an EU-funded IOM project, "Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria", IOM set up and equipped the unit with networked computers, uninterruptible power supply systems, printers and software to process raw information and develop intelligence packages for dissemination to appropriate Nigerian law enforcement agencies.
According to Thuriaux, "In the future, the ACBC will pursue closer cooperation with African member states on migration governance."
For more information, please contact IOM Tanzania. Damien Thuriaux, Tel: +255 786 585 853, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Marcellino Ramkishun, RTS-Immigration and Border Management, IOM - African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC), Tel:+25527 275 3466 - Mobile: +255 689 1914 83, Email: email@example.com