Authors : Caterina Mazzili, Jessica Hagen-Zanker, Moizza Binat
Site of publication: Minex
Type of Publication : information document
Date of publication : November 2022
*Les Wathinotes sont des extraits de publications choisies par WATHI et conformes aux documents originaux. Les rapports utilisés pour l’élaboration des Wathinotes sont sélectionnés par WATHI compte tenu de leur pertinence par rapport au contexte du pays. Toutes les Wathinotes renvoient aux publications originales et intégrales qui ne sont pas hébergées par le site de WATHI, et sont destinées à promouvoir la lecture de ces documents, fruit du travail de recherche d’universitaires et d’experts.
The first element to mention regarding Guinea’s emigration policies is the country’s membership in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional political and economic community established in 1975 to foster economic integration in West Africa. As members of ECOWAS, Guineans enjoy freedom of movement in North-West Africa, which is reflected in the current migration trends.
Over recent years, Guinea has witnessed the emergence of several campaigns against irregular emigration run by international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or United Nations (UN) agencies. Their goal is to prevent irregular emigration and combat human trafficking, informing people on the multiple dangers, duration and costs involved. For instance, CinemArena is a mobile cinema initiative run by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), launched to raise awareness about the dangers of irregular migration among potential migrants from rural areas.
Impacts on development
INTEGRA’s intervention areas are located on the migration axis to Senegal: Conakry to Labe (Conakry–Coyah–Kindia–Mamou–Dalaba–Pita–Labe). The programme focuses on raising awareness on the risks associated with migration and, in parallel, on the existence of sustainable economic alternatives. As of July 2022, INTEGRA created 3,000 jobs in Guinea, reaching 5,802 people overall of whom 25% are return migrants. 1 It is not clear what INTEGRA’s impact on development has been, but the low number of beneficiaries suggests it is rather low.
Interaction with development policies
The central instrument guiding Guinean development policies is the Plan for National Economic and Social Development (PNDES), established in 2016 with the overarching objective of ‘promoting strong and quality growth to improve the wellbeing of Guineans’.
One of the strategies it envisions to accelerate the demographic transition is investment in the fight against the irregular emigration of young Guineans. In fact, the PNDES mentions the ‘emigration of young Guineans to other countries’ amongst the ‘obstacles to maximising the demographic dividend’ of the nation.
Besides the NMP, the government is planning other diaspora policy activities, though none have been implemented so far. The Guinean government foresees the establishment of a migration observatory tasked with collecting data on the diaspora, which will help in the drafting of specific policies and actions of interest. A key informants similarly discussed governmental plans for a census to take stock of Guineans abroad and, in turn, to understand how the diaspora could increase its contribution to the social and economic development of Guinea.
The central instrument guiding Guinean development policies is the Plan for National Economic and Social Development (PNDES), established in 2016 with the overarching objective of ‘promoting strong and quality growth to improve the wellbeing of Guineans’
Several Councils of Guineans Abroad were founded in various countries. They are umbrella organisations that include the main diaspora associations in each country and are supported by the Guinean Embassy. In certain countries, such as France, Belgium or Italy – where the Guinean diaspora is substantial – national development agencies contribute to the funding of some projects, especially when focusing on integration or repatriation.
Guinea has long been a transit country but the attention of both research and legislation seems to have focused mainly on trafficking, excluding other forms and reasons of transit.
A key informant pointed out that another incoherence is represented by the lack of harmonisation on what actually constitutes ‘trafficking’ and what is ‘abuse’ or ‘exploitation’, for instance in relation to child labour. This issue also connects with the impossibility of identifying all trafficking practices taking place on the ground
During the last 10 years, the Guinean legislation on trafficking has changed too. A key informant reported that there have been several improvements, particularly concerning the severity of sanctions. In parallel, the media have gradually increased their coverage on trafficking and on its punishment. The volume of projects dedicated to anti-trafficking, asylum and statelessness has also risen sharply since 2017, the year Guinea was included in the EUTF.
Key incoherence across policies
Problems of coordination amongst the various government bodies also emerged as relevant, for instance those happening between the CNLTPPA and the National Platform for Dialogue. While formally the Committee has more power, the Platform is newer and there are several crossovers between them.
A key informant pointed out that another incoherence is represented by the lack of harmonisation on what actually constitutes ‘trafficking’ and what is ‘abuse’ or ‘exploitation’, for instance in relation to child labour. This issue also connects with the impossibility of identifying all trafficking practices taking place on the ground.
To stay in the country for a period longer than 90 days, an individual needs to apply for a long-stay visa and a resident ID card. Their validity lasts between one and three years and is renewable. The Guinean government has the right to refuse a visa without providing an explanation. Some categories of people are considered ‘special residents’, such as diplomats, foreign state employees under expatriate contract, people married to Guinean citizens, and foreign students.
Article 75 includes sanctions for those who enter, stay in or return to Guinea without authorisation or using fraudulent documents. The law makes them punishable with detention for between one and five years and a fine between 700,000 and 5,000,000 FG (US$550). The Ministry of Security and Civil Protection’s Central Directorate for Air and Border Police (DCPAF) has the responsibility to enforce these dispositions.
Interaction with development policies
Over the years, the Guinean government has also issued some interventions to sustain the agriculture sector (MPCI, 2016). In the PNDES, the government states a desire to see agriculture as central to accelerate economic growth. Similarly, the PNDES aims to ensure equal access to education and training to every citizen. This Plan in fact describes emigration as one of the main obstacles to maximising the demographic dividend in Guinea.
The selected policies
INTEGRA centres around the development of technical and professional skills for Guinea’s youth and industries. INTEGRA’S aim is to strengthen both the capability of local institutions as well as to support the professional integration of returning migrants to Guinea. INTEGRA focuses on three key areas : agribusiness, vocational training and increasing access to finance. As of 2021, 50 projects had been funded for individuals in the INTEGRA programme. It is unclear if the objective of creating longterm jobs for people has been met.
Examples of impact on migration
While the impact of INTEGRA on migration is not known, qualitative evidence on the impact of INTEGRA under the MIGCHOICE project shows that knowledge of the project in target communities was low, and the project did not work with individuals who were considered interlocutors in the community. As noted in the section on Return migration, it is not clear if the impact of INTEGRA can be considered sustainable, or indeed if it led to a reduction in re-migration.