Xenophobia, crime stall intra-African tradeFrom ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – XENOPHOBIC tensions, security concerns and illegal activities at border posts have been identified as the major barriers in promoting trade and integration in Africa.
These have been cited at the just-ended second intra-regional forum on migration in Africa, which the Zambian government, African Union Commission, Regional Economic Communities, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the International Organisation on Migration (IOM) held in Lusaka.
Participants shared experiences, lessons, best practices and strategies on removing barriers to human mobility and trade in order to boost intra African trade.
The forum also complemented and maximised the synergies between other continental initiatives such as the one stop border posts which are being put into place to boost trade facilitation across borders.
This is in response to AU decisions, policies and declarations on migration and development in Africa.
Davies Mwila, Zambia’s Minister of Home Affairs, called for human rights based migration policies.
Participants called for the adoption of pertinent AU policies and decisions to foster integration; among which are the formation of a Continental Free Trade Area, African Common position on migration and development, the Joint Labour Migration Programme and launching of a common African passport.
Director General of the IOM, Lacy Swing, recalled the African Union had identified the continental free trade area (CFTA) as one of the 12 priority projects under Agenda 2063.
“Far from being a problem, migration is an opportunity to be seized,” he said.
– CAJ News
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