African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Monday that the freedom of movement of African citizens on the continent would be more advantageous than detrimental. Dlamini-Zuma was delivering the AU’s State of the Continent address in Durban.
She said free movement for Africans on the continent had been pioneered by Rwanda, which had seen a huge increase 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.
In the interim, the AU would promote the use of a 30-day visa offered by African states to Africans.
“Hopefully more and more countries will open their borders,” she added. – News24