What did participants at the December Briefing think of the discussions? We asked for some reactions:

Antonique Koning from the EU/ACP Microfinance Programme underlines the increasing attention for remittances, and how these are not declining in spite of the current global financial crisis. There is however a need for more and better data on trends in remittances, and on the base of these data it is necessary to take decisions that can foster this transfer of funds. Further, there is a clear link between remittances and microfinance. These linkages need to be fostered and strong financial institutions need to be put in place to make sure that this transfer of money can be translated into savings and investments.

According to Olivier Le Masson (GRDR) the Briefing offered a valuable opportunity to listen to different cases and experiences. In particular he appreciated the interventions of Ken Ndiaye and Peter Hansen. In his view, it is a kind of a paradox that only now migrants are considered actors in development cooperation. His organization is working on the issue for 40 years now, from the perspective of the so called “co-development”, aiming to address issues of migration, citizenship and migration that affect Africa and Europe. Its core notion is considering migration as an added value for both the country of origin and the country of destination. Further, Mr. Le Masson praises the proposal by Oxfam Novib to create a platform of European migrants associations, and to foster the linkages between migrants organizations and development organizations.

(video in French)

From his side, Gary Tounkara, a migrant from Mali and entrepreneur in Italy, congratulated the organizers of the event for the richness and diversity of the interventions and he underlined the importance of the different EC initiatives aiming at better linking migration and development.

(video in French)

Lastly, Hervé Tété Nani (Innovation and Management Challenges) shared with us the experience of Togo in tackling the issue of migration and development. In Togo, recent policies to stimulate economic growth have encouraged the sending of remittances from the diaspora to finance development projects, and they also slowed down the brain drain. Further, a commission has been established, bringing together representatives from the government, civil society and diaspora organizations, to exchange experiences and to devise a shared solution to the issue of migration and development.

(video in French)

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