By Alpha Bedoh Kamara
Ghana president, Nana Akufo-Addo, is shining the light for member countries to ensure the abolition of the obstacles to free movement of persons, services and capital across West Africa.
On Wednesday, Akufo-Addo discussed with Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé for the border linking both countries to be opened 24-hour to boost trade and tourism between the countries.
According to JOY ONLINE, Akufo-Addo made the raised the issue while delivering a brief speech at a State dinner held in his honour by the Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé.
The Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States calls on the Member States to ensure by stages the abolition of the obstacles to free movement of persons, services and capita; confers the status of Community citizenship on the citizens of Member States, and also enjoins Member States to abolish all obstacles to freedom of movement and residence within the Community; and exempt Community citizens from holding visitor’s visa and residence permits and allow them to work and undertake commercial and industrial activities within their territories.
“This is what Africa needs now, the political will to move policies to action,” said Augustine Aminu, a Nigerian national resident in Sierra Leone.
On April 10, 2017, African Development Bank (AfDB) president, Akinwumi Adesina, said that he was proud to be the holder of the African Union’s African passport, but that it is not good limiting them just to politicians and VIPs.
He thought that every African should be issued one and that getting rid of national visa requirements across the continent would be a major step toward the promotion of regional trade on the continent.
According to the Africa Visa Openness Index Report launched by the African Development Bank (AfDB), citizens of African countries require visas to travel to 55% of countries within the continent. The implementation of a proposed common visa policy under the African Union’s (AU) 2063 Agenda, a strategic document outlining the vision for African development, could profoundly impact the continent in terms of intra-regional trade, economic development, and regional integration.