Across Africa, we find several cases and reports of irregular migration that has taken place over time and the policies and practices in place to address this migration concern. The reality is that the porous borders in many African states make it difficult to manage irregular flows especially in countries facing high insecurity such as Somalia and those countries that have put mechanisms in place but still face challenges in terms of resources and capacity to handle the dynamic flow of irregular migration. Fact is that irregular migration continues to prevail in Africa based on the social, political, and economic systems that are underdeveloped and in need of achievable activities with the support of key stakeholders that would support some of the capacity and financial gaps that exist. With limited statistics on irregular migration, it is difficult to determine scale and trend and thereby develop an effective strategy to assist these migrants. With the development of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in December 2018, the document provides guidance on how states can put measures in place for safe, orderly migration to take place nationally and regionally. While the compact is a framework, there are questions on how to operationalize and mainstream some of the principles outlined in the compact and implement them into practice.
This chapter seeks to unpack the realities of mainstreaming the GCM framework into national policies and provides foresights on some of the implementation challenges that can emerge in countries that lack policies on migration in comparison to those that do have policies and practices in place. The chapter will also propose some solutions using evidence from existing studies on irregular migration that can be contextualized to suit some countries within Africa which align with SDG 10 on reducing inequalities within and among countries, with a specific focus on inequalities within countries.