ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) has urged its member states to expedite ratifications of a document for free movement to enhance mobility in Africa.
The call was made during a two-day AU ministerial session at the headquarters of the 55-member pan-African bloc in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
In her remarks at the meeting, the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira Elfadil called on AU member states to ratify the protocol along the lines of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The AU protocol on free movement of persons has been signed by 33 AU member states, of which only 4 member states have deposited their ratifications with the AU Commission, namely, Rwanda, Niger, Mali and Sao Tome and Principe.
The protocol on free movement of persons requires 15 ratifications to enter into force.
"Without mobility and free movement, even the AfCFTA will stay challenged as we cannot achieve free trade properly without free movement," said Judith Uwizeye, minister in office of the Rwandan president and chairperson of the outgoing STC.
The AU commissioner for social affairs also reiterated the challenges of irregular migration and forced displacement in Africa.
"Despite these challenges, positive developments are also taking place including strengthening the governance architecture on migration and humanitarian crises in Africa," noted the commissioner.
The commissioner stated that the AU together with Mali, Morocco and Sudan, are in an advanced stage of establishing migration centers and observatories in the three countries.
These include the African Centre for the Study and Research on Migration in Mali; the African Migration Observatory in Morocco and the Continental Operational Centre in Sudan for Combating Irregular Migration.
The host agreements have been signed with all these governments and the AU commission is now at an advanced stage of putting together a necessary legal and operational framework.
"We will continue working together with all partners to ensure that migration and humanitarian issues in the continent are well coordinated and governed," the commissioner added.