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Linking Reintegration and Development: OFII conducts a mapping exercise in Cameroon, Mali, Senegal and Morocco

OFII conducted a mapping exercise to better understand the existing reintegration landscape in Mali, Morocco, Senegal and Cameroon © Shutterstock

Within the framework of the ERRIN pilot project, the French office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) supports people who wish to come back to Cameroon, Mali, Senegal and Morocco. The offered range of reintegration services varies from social assistance, technical and vocational training, to support with setting up a business.

Against this background, linking to the ERRIN’s ongoing work on linking return to development, OFII conducted a mapping exercise to better understand the existing reintegration landscape in the target countries. The aim of the exercise was also to explore possible avenues for cooperation between reintegration and development actors on the ground to the best benefit of returnees. The study featured input from ERRIN Members States, key EU actors, national authorities in target countries, international and civil society organisations, as well as development agencies.

Scroll down to learn about the key findings per country and download the full report below.

Cameroon

  • Cameroon is the only country among the four that has state-led reintegration programmes, which OFII has worked with to support returning Cameroonians.
  • OFII identified four development projects with most potential for future collaboration: the WIDU platform, the Migration and Diaspora Program, the Global Skills Partnerships for Migration, and the Dias Invest 237.

Mali

  • Mali is a country of return, destination and transit, with multiple actors involved in return and reintegration activities, including the national authorities.
  • Many actions led by development agencies focus on youth employment, with two key initiatives for possible future collaboration identified: EJOM and FACEJ.
  • Additionally, OFII is in the process of strengthening its cooperation with the various national authorities to offer additional reintegration services to returnees.

Senegal

  • Senegal is a country of return, destination and transit, with numerous actors active in the field of return and reintegration.
  • National authorities have launched various initiatives and programmes to encourage entrepreneurship and investment from the Senegalese diaspora.
  • OFII has worked with Senegalese authorities to offer ERRIN beneficiaries additional opportunities for psychosocial support and funding.

Morocco

  • Morocco differs from the other countries largely cause its geographical positioning and a more stable economic situation.
  • The main issue reported was a heavy reliance on development initiatives in lieu of Moroccan public services.
  • OFII has reached out to the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Competencies to enable returnees’ involvement in the national ecosystem from early stages of their reintegration journeys.
  • Another promising partnership in the making is the one with CEFA, an Italian NGO and service provider for both GIZ and OFII.

Lessons learned

  • Amounts dedicated to reintegration assistance significantly vary and sometimes do not suffice for the returnees to start anew, given the peculiarities and prices governing a specific market. OFII suggests that reintegration grants should respond to the reality on the ground, and be adjusted to a specific country and type of activity.
  • Returnees are reluctant to participate in educational and training activities, as their priority upon return is income generation. The report states that reintegration assistance schemes should feature relevant stipends to enable returnees to participate in additional training activities.
  • Foster the visibility of the ERRIN network and involve diaspora and national actors in outreach activities to better target (potential) returnees.
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