African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said that the freedom of movement of African citizens on the continent would be more advantageous than detrimental.
While speaking at an African Union state of the continent address at the Hilton Hotel in Durban on Monday, She said free movement for Africans on the continent had been pioneered by Rwanda which had seen drastic increases in its tourism and trade sectors.
“Rwanda was the country that led this move and they opened their borders for all Africans. That kind of policy has seen them increase their tourism by 24% and trade by over 50%. Generally, the free movement of people has more advantages than disadvantages,” she said.
“If people are free to move they come in and leave. If they know they can’t come back at their will, they end up staying. We are developing a comprehensive protocol of free movement and we are hoping it will be signed by 2018,” she added.
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was amongst the guests participated in the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in Kigali, Rwanda in July 2016; the meeting hailed by many as the best Summit ever. The meeting also saw the launch of the African Union Passport and the overwhelming enthusiasm that greeted it.
The Assembly also decided to encourage all Member States to adopt the African Passport and to work closely with the AU Commission to facilitate the processes towards its issuance at the national level, based on international and continental policy provisions to ease free movement as well as promoting inter-countries cooperation.