Managing Migration Dynamics Along the Berbera Corridor

The inaugural session of a stakeholder dialogue series on leveraging the economic development and migration nexus in cities and towns along the Berbera Corridor will take place on 26 May 2024 in Jigjiga, Ethiopia.

The Berbera Corridor is a strategic investment in cross-border trade and infrastructure development. The initiative aims to construct a modern infrastructure and logistics line stretching from the port town of Berbera, Somaliland, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

With the World Bank projecting a six-fold increase in trade volume by 2050, the Berbera Corridor will become a vital hub for regional trade and logistics. It will facilitate the efficient movement of goods and people and catalyse economic growth.

This development also brings to light the complex dynamics of migration. The Berbera Corridor overlaps an informal migration route from Ethiopia to Yemen, and its cities and small towns are likely to experience a surge of inward migration driven by the prospect of economic opportunities.

The influx of migrants is a dilemma, presenting both the potential for a vibrant economic zone and the risks of uncontrolled informal settlements, proliferation of slums, and social and political unrest.

To address these complex challenges, Cities Alliance is fostering critical discussions among stakeholders on leveraging the migration dynamics in the region, including through a project in the Berbera Corridor. In partnership with Jigjiga City, the capital of the Ethiopian Somali region, and Jigjiga University, it has initiated a series of stakeholder dialogues on ‘Managing Migration Dynamics along the Berbera Corridor.’

The inaugural Dialogue will take place on 26 May 2024, in Jigjiga, Ethiopia, marking a significant step forward in tackling the issues. It is expected to convene diverse participants, including Cities Alliance partner cities within the Berbera Corridor’s zone of influence, regional and national governments, and key stakeholders in mobility, human security, and economic development.

The Dialogue aims to deepen the collective understanding of the region’s migration patterns, spotlighting the opportunities and challenges ahead. It is envisioned as a strategic move to harness migration dynamics for the betterment of the region, enhancing job creation and service provision. It also serves as a platform for cities, and regional, and national governments to foresee potential risks and strategise on risk aversion and mitigation measures.

The event is organised through the Resilient Systems of Secondary Cities and Migration Dynamics Programme, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It is the second phase of a long-term partnership between Cities Alliance and SDC dedicated to generating new insights, fostering analytical and collaborative approaches, and improving urban practices and policies focusing on secondary cities in low-income countries.