Legal and policy experts from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states on Monday met to review and validate the roadmap on the implementation of free movement of persons in the region.
The two days event taking place in Entebbe from Monday November 16th to 17th 2020, convened labor and immigration technical officials from all the 8 countries in the region including Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia.
The IGAD director for social development, Fathia Alwan said at the event that the phased implementation of the free movement of persons protocol is focusing on the areas of policy harmonization and review of laws and legal instruments, institutional capacity building, data collection and analysis and monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
“Today we have gathered to examine and finalize the roadmap for implementation for the Free Movement Protocol in the IGAD region,” said Ms. Alwan.
The protocol aims at realizing the free entry and exit of people within the IGAD member states, the mobility of labor and the right of establishment and freedom to engage in economic activities.
The Roadmap is expected to run for 10 years within two IGAD strategic periods encompassing all the implementation phases.
“IGAD will develop its own annual plan with focus on its mandate including regional coordination, negotiations, adoption, ratification, popularization, capacity building for implementation, monitoring and evaluation, as well as reporting,” added Alwan.
Asrar Ahmed Elsiddig from the Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the member states are going to be sending to the secretariat the free movement of persons protocol progress on the implementation.
“Annually member states will send implementation progress report of the protocol. The annual reports and findings from the independent research will be published by the IGAD secretariat after every two years,” said Ms. Asrar.
Benchmarks have been drawn from the European Union (EU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to facilitate free movement in respect to trade, education, safety and others.