President William Ruto (left) welcomes Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the State House, Nairobi, during the German leader's visit to Kenya in May 2023/Photo: State House Kenya

Germany, Kenya to sign migration agreement

Germany is set to sign a migration deal with Kenya. This was disclosed by Germany’s Special Envoy for Migration Agreements, Joachim Stamp, in an interview with the Rheinische Post, according to the German press agency dpa.

German government is currently negotiating migration agreements with some non-EU countries, including Kenya, in its quest to make migration to Germany more orderly and the deportation of rejected asylum-seekers work better.

“We have negotiated a comprehensive migration agreement with Kenya, scheduled to be signed in September after a final legal review. Additionally, we aim to sign an agreement with Uzbekistan in the third quarter. Both countries hold significant geopolitical importance,” stated the FDP politician.

Similar agreements were being prepared with Kyrgyzstan and the Philippines, Stamp revealed. Loose agreements were already in place with other countries, Stamp is quoted to have said in the report. “Close cooperation on migration issues was further intensified with Ghana during a delegation trip. Migration cooperation has been firmly agreed with Colombia.”

The federal government is making efforts to make immigration to Germany more regulated by signing agreements with countries from which it would like to recruit skilled workers but also with the major countries of origin of asylum-seekers.

Berlin’s strategy is to discourage irregular migration while encouraging prospective migrants to Germany to take advantage of opportunities provided by the country’s expanded Skilled Immigration Act.

Stamp, the official tasked with the responsibility to realise the government’s objective, is therefore working on migration agreements with the target countries. The first ‘Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement’ was signed with India in December 2022 and has been in effect since March 2024.

Under these agreements, partner countries will commit to facilitating the forcible return of their citizens, whose asylum claims have been rejected, from Germany, while Germany, in turn, will simplify the process for citizens of these countries to obtain visas for work, study and training in Germany.

Stamp reported that Berlin’s policy has achieved success with both Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. Following the agreement with Georgia and its classification as a safe country of origin, the number of asylum-seekers from Georgia has decreased by approximately two-thirds. In return, opportunities for seasonal work for young people from Georgia have been enhanced. A similar trend has been observed in Moldova, according to Stamp.

The German migration policy has many critics, who say that agreements with poor countries in Africa and autocratic governments primarily serve to prevent people from fleeing to Europe. They also say that rich countries utilise their financial strength to impose their policies on the governments of poorer countries.

Sola Jolaoso

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