Alongside the centre offers services for returnees, staff also provide information for local people on the employment opportunities they have in their home country, especially within the projects of Germany's development cooperation. In addition, the centre provides information on legal options for migration to Germany and raises awareness about the risks involved in irregular migration.
Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development: “Young people in particular need the prospect of work. And that is what we want to offer them – along with a future in their own country. That is why the advice centre is offering its services to all the people in Senegal who want a better future for themselves and for their families; it provides targeted support for training and employment. We want to offer an alternative which is better than risking a perilous journey where the outcome is uncertain.”
The migration advice centre is a first point of contact providing information and directing people towards support and training services, in particular in development cooperation projects supported by Germany. The aim is to create opportunities so that people feel they have a future and a reason to remain in their home country, to prevent irregular migration and to support measures that help to reintegrate returnees. The BMZ is investing an additional 5.6 million Euro in projects in Senegal, which will be opened specifically to returnees. This is to help, for instance, improving job opportunities in promising sectors such as renewable energies and the services sector.
Similar centres were already opened in Tunisia, Morocco and Ghana last year. The next country to follow Senegal will be Nigeria in the spring. The BMZ has already gained experience with migration advice centres in Kosovo and Albania; centres there have been operating successfully for a number of years.
Support is also available in Germany for potential returnees before they leave the country. Country-specific information in several languages is available online on the internet page build-your-future.net. In addition, reintegration scouts are working across Germany in close cooperation with social and welfare associations and municipalities, offering information on return opportunities.