IOM Director General Amy Pope Visits Ethiopia on First Official Trip

IOM’s Director General, Ms. Amy E. Pope with H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Photo: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Office of the President

IOM’s Director General, Ms. Amy E. Pope with H.E. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Photo: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Deputy Prime Minister Office  

Addis Ababa – The new Director General of the International Organization for Migration, Amy E. Pope has concluded her visit to Ethiopia, the first stop on her four nation East and the Horn of Africa first official trip after assuming office on October 1, 2023.

During her three day visit (8 to 10 October), DG Pope met Ethiopia’s President, H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, African Union commissioners, donors, diplomats, heads of UN agencies, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to discuss IOM’s work in Ethiopia and the Organisation’s priorities during her term.

In these wide-ranging discussions, DG Pope expressed appreciation to the support extended to IOM stressing the importance of strategic, forward-thinking, and mutually beneficial partnerships to fully realize the benefits of migration. She also underlined the importance of collaborating to produce policies that consider the full migration continuum and provide people with dignified and safe options.

“Regular pathways can make migration safer and reduce unsafe and irregular migration, improve the capacity to identify who enters, transits through, and remains in a territory, respond to labour market needs and contribute to sustainable development. Regulatory safeguarding against unethical and exploitative migrant worker recruitment practices that adversely impact job quality, employment conditions, access to decent work and life, and adequate recognition of skills must be in-built within such pathways,” Ms. Pope said, addressing diplomats at the inaugural Africa Diplomatic Dialogue (ADi) on Migration at the African Union Commission.

ADi is a new African Union platform bringing stakeholders, experts, and leaders for policy discussions to shape the governance of migration in Africa.

DG Pope also opened a high-level policy roundtable on Regional Integration and Human Mobility in the East and Horn of Africa, that discussed valuable insights in "The State of Migration in East and Horn of Africa Report," a collaboration between IOM, the East African Community (EAC), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to advance understanding of migration in the region.

She interacted with migrants and communities receiving assistance from IOM through its Refugees Resettlement Transit Centre. At this transit centre, IOM is helping resettle refugees in Ethiopia to new countries around the world, by facilitating their travel, providing medical assistance, and other services.

"We are honoured that DG Pope chose to visit Ethiopia for her first trip as head of IOM. Her engagements focussed on how IOM could better support the government and other partners to manage migration and to assist vulnerable people on the move," Abibatou Wane, Chief of Mission, IOM Ethiopia.

IOM’s country office in Ethiopia was established in Addis Ababa in 1995 and current operations include 12 sub-offices covering all regional states, five migration response centres along key

migratory routes, four transit centres and three migration health assessment centres assisting returning migrants and departing refugees.

IOM works closely with the government, partners and migrants to provide support and services in migration governance, migration health, migration movements, and emergency and post-crisis, with over 3,17 million vulnerable migrants and displaced people assisted in 2022.

IOM also has a Special Liaison Office to the African Union and UNECA which engages in providing technical assistance for the development and implementation of continental migration policies and declarations on migration.

For more information on IOM Ethiopia’s operations, please see the 2022 Annual Report (PDF) here.

For more information contact: Eric Mazango