Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Labour Mobility in North Africa (THAMM)

  • Country of destination: Germany, Belgium, and France
  • Country of origin: Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia
  • Sectors: Tourism and Hospitality
  • Skill level: Mid-level and high-level
  • Timeline: 2019 - 2023
  • Number of beneficiaries: At least 400


Despite North Africa’s importance as a regional and international migration hub, opportunities for legal migration to Europe are difficult for labour migrants to access. Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Labour Mobility in North Africa (THAMM) aims to foster mutually beneficial legal migration and mobility.

Why was it started?

Unemployment, underemployment, low wages, poverty, instability, and lack of economic opportunities incentivize many North Africans (especially youth) to migrate. Legal migration opportunities are few, and institutions lack the capacity to manage migration in a safe, regular, and orderly way. Facilitating legal migration has long been a priority of the European Union, the African Union, and various international organizations, including within frameworks such as the Valetta Action Plan.

This program aims to strengthen the links between skill development, education, and employment; promote capacity building and inclusive dialogue; and foster legal migration opportunities for young North Africans, regionally and internationally. It also seeks to fill shortages of skilled workers in Europe. The Belgian component also seeks to develop a pool of competencies and fill shortages of skilled talents in the countries of origin.

How does it work?

The program is co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa for €25 million. It is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel), the International Labour Organization, and the International Organization for Migration together with partners in the region including the Moroccan Ministry of Labour and Professional Integration, the Agency for Employment and Self-employment in Tunisia, the Egyptian Ministry of State for Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs.

GIZ supports partner institutions in building their capacity for organizing safe, regular and sustainable mobility programs. The program pilots migration pathways to Germany for work and vocational training. With the national partners, sectors with high potential for labour migration are identified. Participants are selected according to set criteria and are enrolled in preparatory language and intercultural training. They are matched with employers in Germany in collaboration with the German Federal Employment Agency, assisted with travel, and accompanied in their integration phase. THAMM aims to build on the success of other mobility schemes, such as the Triple Win Project.

The Belgian component implemented by Enabel uses the Global Skill Partnership approach by selecting occupations in demand in the countries of origin (Morocco and Tunisia) and the countries of destination (Morocco, Tunisia, and Belgium). Intensive training will be provided to selected talents, including technical, soft skills, integration and language components. The project could include mid-level to high-level talents. All talents will follow the same training before applying to jobs in their country or abroad. The component will be implemented in close cooperation with public and private partners in the three targeted countries.

OFII and the Tunisian Employment Agency (ANETI) are aiming to improve circular mobility between Tunisia and France, for young professionals, seasonal workers, and other people in demand.

What impact has it had?

The program aims to (a) establish new policy, legislative, institutional, and regulatory migration frameworks; (b) create mechanisms for recognizing skills and qualifications; (c) improve migration-related knowledge and data management; (d) create new or improved mobility schemes; and (e) improve cooperation among stakeholders.

It is still early, but progress is already evident. To date, GIZ has provided 400 people with language and cultural training in preparation for movement, and 200 have moved to Germany. The other partners have large plans: Enabel plans to train thousands of young professionals in IT skills, as a continuation of their PALIM project and OFII plans to ensure 1,500 Tunisians directly benefit, with half moving to Europe and half strengthening their employability for opportunities abroad.