Group tasks African Governments on Protocol on Free Movement of Persons

This is contained in a communique issued by Mr Hardi Yakubu, its Coordinator, at the end of its Borderless Africa Convention in Lusaka.

Yakubu said the movement was committed to ensuring a borderless Africa as the best possible way to build economic, social, and geopolitical power.

He said the group was also committed to creating inclusive local organising platforms across African countries to ensure every corner of the continent was touched by the vision of a free, just, united and prosperous Africa.

Yakubu said the group would collaborate with all Africans in movements, civil society, governments, political parties and private sector to realise its dream.

He denounced the colonial borders both mental and physical and all relics of colonial exploitation, which it said had continued to cause division and rancour among Africans.

“We assert our oneness as a people, we no longer want to be identified by or to live in the confines of these divisions, which were created purposefully to divide and conquer us.

“True to their purpose, these borders and the divisions have hampered trade among ourselves as Africans, both home and in the Diaspora.

“Curtailed cultural harmony, arrested our development, limited educational opportunities, job creation and overall prosperity while leading to great losses of our young, energetic and creative people.

“We desire to live in an Africa where we are not Zambians, Kenyans, Nigerians or Sudanese, but just Africans with one passport, one currency and freedom to move within our continent.

“All logic and rationality since the independence struggles by our forefathers six decades ago to date, confirmed that this is the only sure path to our mutual prosperity,” he said.

He said there must be no delay in its realisation, saying that scientific studies had further confirmed this.

He declared that the United States of Africa was the legitimate desire of the African peoples on the continent and in the Diaspora.

He added that the form and structure of the envisioned United Africa was open to rigorous discussions guided by the timeless and enshrined African principles.

This, he said, included the values of ethical governance, economic-social justice, ecological justice, respect for human rights, fellow-feeling, anti-racism and discrimination.

He expressed happiness that the Government of Zambia had showed solidarity and support for Africans Rising’s call for the removal of colonial borders.

He called on the government to take the next logical step and ratify the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, while proceeding to remove VISA requirements for all Africans traveling from all parts of the continent.

“Through the leadership provided by the government of Zambia, we call on all African governments to operationalise and universalise free movement.

“For intra-African travel and trade by ratifying and implementing the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons,” he said.

The Protocol on Free Movement of Persons initially contained in the 1991 Abuja Treaty, aims to facilitate and increase the movement of Africans within Africa, while enhancing their rights to entry, residence, and establishment in AU member states.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *