First field office opens on Ethiopia-Kenya border to curb irregular migration

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have opened their first field office on the Ethiopia-Kenya border to help curb irregular migration. The field office is part of the EU Cross-Border Programme which aims to boost cross border cooperation and address irregular migration.

Ethiopia is a transit country for many Eritrean refugees and migrants who are seeking stability and better economic opportunities in Europe and elsewhere. It is hoped that the new field office will help to address the root causes of irregular migration and in turn help deter migrants from migrating irregularly.

“The office will help in addressing the drivers of conflict and instability, irregular migration and displacement in these cross-border areas,” said Matteo Frontini, Project manager of the Support for Effective Cooperation and Coordination of Cross-border Initiatives (SECCCI) at the UNDP Regional Service Center for Africa (RSCA).

The field office was officially opened on the 3rd April 2019 in the Southern Ethiopian border city of Moyale. It will work closely with local governments, communities, civil society and the private sector to boost trade and improve the livelihoods of people along the Ethiopia-Kenya border to deter irregular migration.

“Our field presence will adopt an integrated approach to bring to border regions peaceful and social economic opportunities through legal trade, and improved livelihoods and water management,” said Frontini.

Many African countries are also increasing their cross-border efforts to fight irregular migration, human trafficking, and other cross-border crimes. In August last year, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed to form a combined military force aimed at fighting human trafficking and terrorism along their joint border. Many Eritreans seeking to migrate irregularly to Europe travel through Sudan where they are at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.

In addition to improving cross border security and cooperation, the EU is also working in partnership with the African Union to help boost job opportunities within the continent to overcome the major driving factors to irregular migration.

TMP – 11/04/2019

Photo credit: hecke61 /

Photo caption: People at the African Market of Moyale in Ethiopia, 17. October 2012