A side event organized by Cities Alliance, IGAD and UCLG Africa within the framework of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, African Regional Review Conference. This event is organised as part of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF): Inclusive Urban Development and Mobility – Regional Network and Dialogue project, which is implemented by Cities Alliance and financed by the EU through the European Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF for Africa).

Join this event on Zoom 

The Africa regional conference to review the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is taking place at a time of growing acknowledgement for the need to collectively work to improve the governance of migration, as well as empower migrants to become positive engines for sustainable development. This first regional review in Africa provides a unique opportunity to build knowledge and foster dialogue among participants on key issues, as well as outline the challenges that hinder good migration governance in the continent.

Displacement and migration are contributing to rapid urbanization in Africa. Between 2000 and 2020, secondary cities in Sub-Saharan Africa doubled their population. Much of this urban expansion was disorderly, lacking adequate infrastructure, and posing serious environmental concerns.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, 80% of the residential areas developed over the past 25 years are informal and unplanned.

Secondary cities from the Horn of Africa are not often represented in international fora to showcase the challenges and opportunities they face when trying to implement Global Agendas such as the Global Compact on Migration, while some of them are the first and most affected by migration and displacement outcomes.

Within the framework of the GCM conference, Cities Alliance, in partnership with UCLG Africa and The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), brings together urban actors from the Horn of Africa to promote the voices of secondary cities and their role in promoting the integration of refugees and migrants.

By supporting secondary cities in the Horn of Africa through regional networking and dialogue, city residents' social, economic, and political inclusion can be improved. A platform to facilitate exchanges among city actors in the region has the potential to enhance peer learning on urban planning, innovation and the adoption of best practices, reduce the risks of conflicts and improve living conditions and opportunities for both, migrants and their host communities.

The key topics of the discussion will include: 


  • The role of secondary cities in the implementation of the GCM in Africa
  • The impact of migration and displacement on secondary cities along migratory routes
  • The importance of networking and dialogue for better integration of refugees and migrants
  • The necessary bridge from local to national and regional discussions for the implementation of the GCM in Africa.
Global Compact for Migration Africa - side event Secondary Cities in the Horn of Africa

More information about the GCM Africa Regional review is available on UNECA's web page.