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ADVOCACY FOR FREE MOVEMENT FOR AFRICAN NATIONALS ON THE CONTINENT


by
Yohane Mbeeya Moono
An Alumni of the Zambia Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies
Reuters Trained Journalist

The development of the whole of the African continent has been the narrative Africans have been working tirelessly to achieve. The Africa We Want started with Nationalism agenda way back in the 20th century, during the colonial period when most African countries were under colonial powers. When the emancipation of the African continent was fully achieved by Africans, the continent body was given more impetus to ensure that the continent was a developed place for all to marvel. The development drive besides being the responsibility on individual governments of the 55 African States, the African Union being the continental body has a major to set policies that will drive development in member states.

The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa. The African Union was announced in the Sirte Declaration in Sirte, Libya, on 9 September 1999, calling for the establishment of the African Union. The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ratified in Lusaka, Zambia in 2002 and launched on 9 July 2003 in Durban, South Africa.
The intention of the African Union was to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa by 32 signatory governments; the Organisation of African Unity was disbanded on 9 July 2002. The most important decisions of the African Union are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The African Union’s Secretariat and the African Union Commission are both based in Addis Ababa
The objectives of the African Union are the following;

1. To achieve greater unity, cohesion and solidarity between the African countries and African nations.

2. To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States.

3. To accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent.

4. To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples.

5.To encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

6.To promote peace, security, and stability on the continent.

7.To promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance.

8.To promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments.

9.To establish the necessary conditions which enable the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations.

10.To promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies.

11.To promote co-operation in all fields of human activity to raise the living standards of African peoples.

12.To coordinate and harmonise the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union.

13.To advance the development of the continent by promoting research in all fields, in particular in science and technology.

14.To work with relevant international partners in the eradication of preventable diseases and the promotion of good health on the continent.

The African Union in one of its very first activities came up witha 63 year plan the Agenda 2063. The Agenda 2063 is an African blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. It must be noted that for some time, the continent has always drawn up wonderful and exciting plans of the transformation agenda of the continent, however, much of it has always been more theoretical than practical. This Agenda 2063 is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the Pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.

The Agenda 2063, purely the brainchild of the African continental bloc with the full understanding of the dynamics of the African environment and the development trends of the African continent. The African Union wrote that the Agenda 2063 seeks at achieving the following :

1. Galvanize and unite in action all Africans and the Diaspora around the common vision of a peaceful, integrated and prosperous Africa.

2. Harness the continental endowments embodied in its people, history, cultures and natural resources, geo-political position to effect equitable and people-centered growth and development.

3. Build on and accelerate implementation of continental frameworks, and other similar initiatives.

4. Provide internal coherence and coordination to continental, regional and national frameworks and plans adopted by the African Union, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Members states plans and strategies.

5. Offer policy space for individual, sectorial and collective actions to realize the continental vision

In operational terms, the Agenda 2063 is a rolling plan of long, medium and short-term plans i.e. its overall span is fifty years with five ten-year plans that could be also broken down into shorter periods of five-year terms on the discretion of each member state. It will be fundamentally executed at three layers from national to continental level. In that connection:

1. The national level will be responsible for the implementation of key activities under Agenda 2063;

2. The regional level- the Regional Economic Communities will serve as the fulcrum for the implementation at the member states level. They will adapt the Agenda 2063 results framework to regional peculiarities and facilitate or coordinate the implementation by member states and develop and implement monitoring and evaluation framework at the regional level.

3. The continental level (African Union Organs, especially the African Union Commission) will be responsible for setting the broad results framework and broad monitoring and
evaluation based on inputs from the Regional Economic Communities.

The Agenda 2063 which looks at the Africa We Want gave birth to the biggest trade agreement after the World Trade Organization agreement which is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)Agreement

The African Continental Free Trade Area is premised on the premise of providing free movement of African Nationals on the African continent in order to promote African led businesses and trade. African countries need to put visa waivers for Africans on the continent. This is to encourage many African business people to engage in cross border trade between and among African countries.

The waiver system being advocated can be implemented at three key levels that is the National, Regional and Continental. The East African Community has somewhat led the way by announcing intentions to complete waiver visa requirements for Nationals of member states when traveling within the perimeters of the Community

However, these plans are being hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic as Countries are demanding Covid-19 Vaccination certificates at Points of Entry and Exit in many African States. A thing that is discouraging many from engaging in Cross Border Trade between and among African countries



Africa needs to actualize the free movement of African Nationals to enhance trade and Cross Border business.

#AfricaRising

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Published by MyWritings

A Writer, A Diplomat in Waiting, Climate Change Advocate and a Football Administrator

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