Hargeisa – Migrants who choose to return to Somaliland now have access to Start Your Business training through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa. The training launched this week in Hargeisa with more than 60 migrants, who opted to return from Libya instead of continuing their journeys to Europe. The training runs over five days. Organized by International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Migration Agency sub-office in Hargeisa, the training follows a format developed by the International Labor Organization (ILO), and was delivered by local ILO-trained facilitators. The initial group of trainees were mainly young men in their 20s and 30s. Most of them returned to Somaliland at various times over May and June 2018 with help from the IOM.
21-year old Ahmed returned to Hargeisa in April after a spending a year in Libya. “The training is very good and I like the trainers. It will help me find a business idea; I’m considering opening a supermarket.”
Irregular migration, known as tahriib, has been a popular route out of poverty and unemployment for many Somalilanders. “This training gives migrants business planning, procurement, marketing and financial planning skills,” said Jessamy Garver-Affeldt, Head of the IOM Sub-Office in Hargeisa.
“With those skills, the migrants should be able to open their own businesses, and make them more profitable and sustainable. For most returnees, this is the next stage in the reintegration process. But if they choose to work for someone else, they are also more employable.”
Through the EU Trust Fund for Africa, the EU –IOM Joint Initiative champions sustainable reintegration. This means that once migrants have been safely returned to their countries, the Joint Initiative supports their economic independence, social and psychological welfare.
“The business training is part of what we call economic reintegration,” explained Julia Hartlieb, Senior Regional Programme Coordinator for the Joint Initiative in the Horn of Africa.
“We counsel the migrants once they return to understand their interests and capacity, we also work to understand the needs of the communities they live in. We then train them, or send them back to school, college or university to ensure that they have the skills to build their own economic self-sufficiency and to contribute to their communities.”
After the migrants complete the training, their business plans are vetted, start-up supplies are procured for them and they receive further monitoring and mentoring to ensure the sustainability of their businesses.
The support to returning migrants is a part of the wider €25 million EU-IOM Joint Initiative on Migrant Protection and Reintegration initiative –active in 26 countries in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and Lake Chad region; and, North Africa – that supports reintegration for returnees in countries of origin. The Joint Initiative facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights- based and development- focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration.
For further information, contact Mabsoud Ahmed Ali, Reintegration Program Assistant, IOM Hargeisa: +252 63 41 31 244