AU official urges action on free movement of people in Africa
Africa needs to fast-track the adoption of key policies and legal frameworks to facilitate free movement of migrants in the continent, Khabele Matlosa, director of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission said Monday in Rwanda's capital city Kigali.
Speaking at a meeting on an AU's procedure on migration, refugees and internally displaced persons, Matlosa explained that protocols would facilitate use of African passport, visa-free Africa, free trade area, meant to ease integration across the continent.
The meeting attracted more than 200 participants from across Africa, including ministers and experts in the areas of migration, refugees and forced displacement. The meeting is meant to consider and discuss adopting the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community relating to Free Movement of Persons, Right of residence and Right of establishment.
The meeting will also consider and discuss adopting Implementation Mechanism, the Revised AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa, and Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, according to a concept note.
Management of migration has become one of the critical challenges facing AU member states with growing number of migrants, said director of AU's social affairs department Olawale Maiyegun. The outcomes of the meeting will feed into a meeting of African ministers in charge of migration due to be held on Friday also in Kigali.
Reports indicate that over 80 percent of African migrants remain on the continent, calling for strengthening of policies and measures to ensure orderly movements. AU is expected to launch the effective implementation of the protocol on free movement of persons, right of residence, and right of establishment in 2018.