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30 May 2017
Visa-Free Travel Across Africa Closer to Reality
The ambitious programme by the African Union to remove visa charges for Africans travelling within the continent moved one step closer to fruition on May 23. This followed a meeting of over 100 African government officials in Kigali to fine-tune a draft treaty establishing free movement around the continent.
The draft protocol has to be submitted to the ministerial committee, and must be ready before the AU Heads of State summit slated for January 2018 when it is expected to be adopted.
"The progress we have made so far in improving the draft shows that we are capable of coming up with a policy that overcomes underlying fears of integration, such as those experienced by Europe under Brexit," said Katyen Jackden, chairperson of the Committee on the Free Movement of Persons in Africa.
"For us, the benefit of free movement of people, goods and services outweighs the real potential security and economic challenges that may be generated."