MIDRAND, South Africa – The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has called on African countries to abolish the issuance of visas to enable free movement of people across the continent.
The free movement of persons, according to Kadaga, will facilitate Africans to ply their trade across the continent which is a prospective market.
Reacting to the resolutions reached at the closure of the 10th Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments and Senates at the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa on Wednesday, 7 August 2019, Kadaga emphasised that Africans needed visa-free restrictions as opposed to having a standard African passport to facilitate the free movement of people within the continent.
“What we want is a removal of the visa instead of the issuance of the African passport. I am a senior person in my country and I do not even have the African passport and also do not know any person with it,” Kadaga said.
The Speaker added that free movement of people would improve continental trade resulting into equitable development on the continent. She called on the African Heads of State to urgently address the issue of visas.
Kadaga also questioned the existence of multiple regional economic blocs on the continent and said they are hampering the work of legislators who are trying to open Africa to its people.
“I am actually surprised that even the African Union, which is the executive body of this continent, is trying to create the Horn of Africa as another regional bloc and yet many of these countries are already part of the existing blocs,” she said.
She also noted that countries are expected to pay subscription to the numerous regional blocs they may belong to thus becoming a burden to the national purse of the respective countries.
The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is one of the organs of the African Union (AU) as set out by the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community (Abuja Treaty).The Parliament is intended as a platform for people from all African states to be involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.