Free movement of Africans critical to AfCFTA’s success: UNECA - The Naija Weekly

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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Free movement of Africans critical to AfCFTA’s success: UNECA


The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has said Africa should focus more on the movement of people within the region for the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).

Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division director at UNECA, stated this on Tuesday during the media conference on the Africa Regional Review of the Implementation of the Global Compact For Migration hosted by Morocco in Rabat.

Ms Ruzvidzo noted that the regional review of the GCM aimed to help Africa in migration data collection and assist in implementing the continent’s integration.

“This year’s leading role in the GCM review and its other related initiatives all aim to help Africa retain skills, improve migration data collection and assist in the implementation of the continent’s integration through facilitating portability of skills and qualifications as well as trade through the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA),” she explained. “The AfCFTA cannot succeed if we do not look at the movement of people. We cannot only look at the movement of goods and services without looking at the movement of people.”

The UN General Assembly formally endorsed the GCM in December 2018.

Ms Ruzvidzo stressed that the review would examine the progress of the implementation of the “Global Compact” at the national levels and identify priorities for the implementation.

She noted that the GCM was anchored on the Universal Charter on Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the African Union in the UN framework on the implementation of Agenda 2063, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Maureen Achieng, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Chief of Mission to Ethiopia and Representative to the African Union and UNECA, pointed out that migration and human mobility were core potential for human development in Africa.


Ms Achieng said the GCM recognised that properly managed migration contributed to positive development outcomes and provided operational frameworks for achieving migration’s people-centred and human rights-based governance.

The chief of mission added that migration was central to Africa’s transformation agenda, and Africa was also critical to effective global migration governance.

She noted that the Africa Continental Free Movement Protocol was at the heart of Africa’s regional integration agenda and the African Union’s development ambitions in the African Union’s Agenda 2063.


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