African Union wants free movement across the continent to reduce dangerous migration
AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira Elfadil Mohammed
Addis Ababa, Jan. 27, 2018 (AltAfrika) – The African Union (AU) has challenged member states to facilitate the free movement of people on the continent in a bid to reduce riskier forms of migration, mainly to Europe.
AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira Elfadil Mohammed said the free movement of people will help reduce dangerous migration trends, mainly to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.
The free movement of people will offer potential overseas migrants, particularly those taking dangerous routes, new options and thus help their pursuit for better life and employment across Africa.
“I am glad that Africa is now working for its unity and taking steps towards the abolishing or easing of the visa restrictions in many African countries,” she said.
Noting that more than 80 percent of African migrants commit intra-Africa migration, the commissioner said that easing visa restrictions within the continent has the potential to further reduce the current 20 percent of migration to Europe and other parts of the world mainly via dangerous routes.
Commending the achievements of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the free movement of people, she also called on other African regions to take lessons from ECOWAS and create an integrated continent.
The free movement of people and goods is one of the major flagship initiatives that AU member states are expected to consider during the 30th AU leaders summit, which is currently underway in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
Hundreds of thousands of African migrants have in recent years used Libya, lying on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, as a transit route to Europe.