The next summit of Heads of State of the African Union (AU) will have on its agenda the adoption of a protocol on the free movement of people on the continent. To finalize the protocol with a view to its adoption, the African Union initiated consultative meetings extended to all AU member countries. Some African states are still reluctant and would not want to see the protocol adopted in January. While, the African populations, sixty years after independence, dream more than ever of a united Africa where people can move freely. The data below reflect the gap between the aspirations of the populations and the policies of the states:
- 55% of African countries oblige other African nationalities to obtain their visa before taking their flight;
- 25% of African countries authorize the issuance of visas upon arrival to travelers of other African nationalities;
- 97% of African migrations occur on the continent and only 3% of Africans attempt international migration to America, Asia, Europe or Oceania.
The contrast is that while talking about African integration, it is often easier and cheaper for a European citizen to take his visa upon arrival at an African airport than it is for an African. It belongs to us as a citizen, a human rights activist; civil society organization, trade union and religious organization, to mobilize for the adoption of the protocol on free movement in Africa. It is indeed high time for African states to move beyond the borders inherited from colonization to a genuine African integration. The Campaign for Free Movement in Africa is an initiative led by civil society organizations and coordinated by the West African Observatory on Migrations.
To join the campaign and show your support for the adoption of the protocol:
2- Print the letter on the heading paper of your organization or on your own behalf.
3- Send the letter to your Head of State office by having a receipt signed on a photocopy of the letter.
4- Also send a copy of the letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
5- Scan or photograph and send the receipt signed on a photocopy of the letter to the Campaign for Free Movement in Africa via the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Together we will succeed in making free movement a reality on the African continent.