The Secretariat of the Rabat Process facilitates the dialogue and supports partner countries by carrying out capacity-building activities. It is a demand-driven entity, responding to the needs of and accompanying the National Focal Points, the Steering Committee and its Chair. The Secretariat is currently funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development as part of the project “Support to Africa-EU Migration and Mobility Dialogue (MMD)”.

The role of the Secretariat

The Secretariat works in close partnership with the Steering Committee, its Chair, and the network of National Focal Points. It carries out a wide variety of activities, supporting these stakeholders to fulfil their role in the dialogue framework. These activities that be subsumed under four complementary areas:

The Rabat Process Secretariat:

Facilitates the dialogue process

  • Provides advice and expertise for dialogue activities (roundtables, workshops, thematic meetings, political meetings) and to guide the development of policies and programmes by partners.
  • Develops communication tools to facilitate information-sharing among National Focal Points, and to increase visibility and understanding of the dialogue externally.
  • Monitors the implementation of dialogue activities whilst ensuring effective results.
  • Provides logistical support for dialogue activities.

Builds and disseminates knowledge

  • Generates knowledge, identifies and shares good practices among dialogue partners.
  • Fosters links with external stakeholders, progressively building a network of relevant experts.
  • Serves as the institutional memory ensures the continuitiy of the dialogue.

Builds the capacities of partner countries

  • Carries out capacity-building activities in response to partners‘ requests, supporting the implementation of the dialogue’s strategic objectives in selected countries.

Supports the Steering Committee and its Chair

  • A “neutral-broker”, providing expertise and technical input to the Chair and Steering Committee and proposing ideas but never imposing choices.

The evolution of the Secretariat’s activities

After the foundation of the dialogue in 2006, the partner countries soon realised that there was a need for an entity that could support the dialogue’s activities, assist the wide network of stakeholders and ensure continuity. In 2008, the first “Support Project” was set up. Progressively, the volume of support activities has increased and nowadays these periodically renewed projects are known as the Secretariat of the Rabat Process.

Phase 1: 2008–2010

The activities essentially consisted of support for the organisation of dialogue meetings. The technical approach of the thematic meetings (seminars and trainings) was added to the political level formed by the senior officials’ meetings and ministerial conferences. In parallel, the network of Focal Points was initiated.

Phase 2: 2010-2012

The first communication tools were developed with the objective of supporting information sharing and improved coordination between the partner countries. In this context, a mapping of initiatives implemented in the region of the Rabat Process was initiated.

Phase 3: 2013-2015

For the first time, capacity building activities were implemented in the framework of the Rabat Process. A significant leap towards supporting the operational implementation of the strategic objectives contained in the Dakar Strategy was taken in this phase.

Partner countries could request short-term technical assistance such as training sessions. In parallel, the knowledge-building activities and the sharing of good practices were diversified, i.e. through the development of tools such as Guides on the Use of Migration Data with several beneficiary countries and the development of infographics.

Phase 4: 2015-2019

The current project implementing the Secretariat offers increased funding for capacity-building activities and large-scale initiatives led by partner countries. This includes actions aiming to implement commitments made in the Marrakesh Action Plan (commitment mechanism). In addition, the Secretariat organises training sessions and carries out in-depth studies.
The Secretariat also stepped-up its efforts to strengthen the network of Focal Points. The development of Terms of Reference outlining their role is just one example of the support the Secretariat provides to the Focal Points. New information-sharing and knowledge-building tools are also under development in the current phase.
The Secretariat also assists the Steering Committee and its Chair, providing ideas and technical expertise, while monitoring the dialogue’s implementation and effectiveness.
The Rabat Process Secretariat also increasingly fosters synergies with other regional frameworks, such as the Khartoum Process. This is facilitated by the fact that the support entities of both dialogues share the same project framework, the EU-funded “Support to Africa-EU Migration and Mobility Dialogue” (MMD) project. In this context, the Secretariat also contributes to the monitoring of the Joint Valletta Action Plan (JVAP).

Funding and implementing partners

The Rabat Process Secretariat and its activities are currently funded by the European Union. The European Commission entrusts the role of Secretariat to organisations in the area of migration. Currently, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is implementing the Secretariat as part of the overarching project “Support to Africa-EU Migration and Mobility Dialogue (MMD)”. The MMD project contributes to the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, launched at the Africa–EU Summit in Lisbon in 2007.

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- The latest information about the activities carried out by the Secretariat can be found in the news section.