Migration of African Talents through Capacity Building and Hiring (MATCH)

  • Country of destination: Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Italy
  • Country of origin: Nigeria and Senegal
  • Sectors: Construction, Engineering, and Manufacturing, Information and Communications Technology
  • Skill level: High
  • Timeline: January 2020 - December 2022
  • Number of beneficiaries: 210 (expected)


Migration of African Talents through Capacity Building and Hiring (MATCH) is a 36‑month initiative funded by the European Union (EU) aimed at providing highly skilled people to private sector companies whose needs for qualified staff cannot be satisfied within the EU labor market. It seeks to address labor market shortages in Europe and improve the employability and skills of high-tech workers from Nigeria and Senegal by enabling 210 workers from those countries to work at companies in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Italy in which labor shortages have been identified. The project is needs-driven and allows companies to retain the workers recruited through the MATCH project. It will provide high-quality matches of talent through selective advertisement, advanced skill assessment technologies, and a network of reputable talent management providers.

Why was it started?

Nigeria and Senegal have invested in developing modern ICT infrastructure; they are among the most active tech-hubs in Africa. They also suffer from high unemployment, especially among youth. Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Italy have labor shortages in the ICT sector. Nigeria and Senegal are key to the trade and investment strategies of the four destination countries; large networks of companies are already active in both countries. MATCH aims to address these shortages through smart and well-organized migration.

How does it work?

The project facilitates the matching of workers in Senegal and Nigeria with companies in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Italy based on the needs of the private sector. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) leads the overall implementation of the project. Project partners support efforts in each of the four EU member states. They include EUROCHAMBRES (regional), Agoria (Belgium), VDAB (Belgium), VOKA Belgium), Unioncamere Piemonte (Italy), IMS (Luxembourg), and the Netherlands-African Business Council (the Netherlands).

Highly qualified candidates are invited for job placements, following profile screening and matching with companies, where they upgrade their skills and increase their employability upon return to their home countries. Targeted recruitment takes place in Senegal and Nigeria, with the support of reputable networks, recruitment agencies, and public institutions. Applications are screened and pre-selection carried out. A shortlist is shared with European employers for their final selection. MATCH also conducts complementary activities, such as intercultural competence training, skills development, capacity building, and knowledge sharing.

What impact has it had?

The project is in progress. Twenty-three recruitments are pending, and 1 has been completed. Because of the COVID-19, pandemic, most participants will work remotely. Initially, the program expected to implement a classical circular mobility scheme. Because of the pandemic, it is expected that some companies will apply hybrid mobility schemes in which migrants will be based in their home country and will come to Europe only to undertake training and specific assignments.