The African Capacity Building Centre: Five Years of Fostering Good Migration Governance

Document Fraud Training for Nigeria Immigration Service officers in Abuja.

By Marcellino Ramkishun

The African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) in Moshi, Tanzania has played an integral role in the growth and understanding of border management and related matters throughout the African continent.

Established in 2009 at the request of IOM’s African Member States, the ACBC is fast becoming an important hub for training and capacity building in migration management for IOM Offices and IOM member states alike.

Through its broad range of activities, the Centre promotes comprehensive migration governance and facilitates a diverse range of immigration and border management projects and training courses throughout Africa and beyond.

The Centre is hosted by the Tanzania Regional Immigration Training Academy (TRITA) in Moshi. TRITA is tasked by the East African Community (EAC) Heads of Immigration Services with coordinating and providing specific training for immigration officials from the five EAC countries: Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

TRITA and the ACBC work in close partnership and their good cooperation has benefited both in terms of joint training programmes, workshops, as well as regional support.

Over the last five years, the ACBC’s teams of experts have responded to an increasingly wide range of requests from African States to build their countries’ capacities and shape innovative solutions in regard to migration management.  

As of July 2013, the ACBC had trained over 3,100 immigration and border management officials from 47 different African states, and provided specialist border management guidance to more than 30 IOM offices.

During the 2013/2014 period, the ACBC also facilitated border management interventions across the continent, most notably the IOM Abuja Five Country Conference on irregular migration.

As the ACBC celebrates its fifth anniversary in March 2015, the Centre is widening its thematic outreach in the areas of labor migration, migration health and return migration.

The Center is also looking into other immigration and border management themes such as the promotion of trade, the facilitation of the free movement of persons, good governance, gender and climate change.

The ACBC has also started to focus on humanitarian border management (HBM), migrant smuggling and human trafficking –  addressing these particular challenges in crises, and supporting integrated and coordinated humanitarian response through adapted border management procedures.

The ACBC has delivered HBM, counter-trafficking and counter-migrant smuggling trainings in a number of countries. Recent examples include: an HBM training carried out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and a counter-trafficking investigation, a migrant smuggling investigation, and integrated border management trainings conducted for the Puntland Authority, Somalia and held at the ACBC.

“Although it is difficult to work in the Anti- Trafficking Unit because it involves organized crime, through this training session we have learnt a lot – especially how to detect traffickers and how to support and assist the victims of trafficking,” said Lul Saleban Ali, a woman counter trafficking officer from Puntland, Somalia.

One of the ACBC’s main focuses is the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) –   which involves the training of officials to capture, analyze and transfer aggregated migrant traveler data to their headquarters. MIDAS is a border management software developed by IOM in order to equip and enable States that have inadequate data capture systems.