Speakers of National Assemblies and Senates demand issuance of the African passport!

The tenth conference of Speakers of African Assemblies and Senates has thrown its weight behind the African Union's undertaking to resolve conflicts in Africa that often result in the displacement of natives. The Conference also made emphasis on its support for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The President of the Niger National Assembly and Chairperson of the Conference the Rt. Hon. Ousseini TINNI hailed the outcomes of the conference saying "our National Assemblies have been called upon to be key players in the implementation of initiatives. For each and every problem discussed at this forum, we ended with a consensus hence my enthusiasm that we will ensure implementation of these outcomes," said Hon. Tinni.

The Speakers, after two days of deliberations, reaffirmed their countries' determination to deal with the subject of refugees in line with the theme that was adopted by the AU for the 2019 the Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons.

They impressed upon governments to work towards the elimination of the structural causes of conflict which pushes people from their countries of residence. The meeting also resolved to support quests to guarantee access to education for refugees, returnees, internally displaced and stateless children in Africa.

"The Conference of Speakers of African Assemblies and Senates expresses its support for the commitment made by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to undertake a vigorous and effective leadership in order to resolve conflicts in Africa through policies and strategies aimed at strengthening national systems and structures for the prevention of conflicts and displacement of populations on the continent," reads part of the document on resolutions and recommendations.

The Conference also undertook to contribute to the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and committed to mobilizing Member States to ratify the agreement and domesticate the Protocols relating to AfCFTA highlighting the need to first guarantee free movement of persons on the continent to facilitate implementation of the AfCTFA.

"If we cannot travel freely, what is the use of the Protocol? Free movement of persons is a prerequisite for free trade, and we cannot have free movement of goods without free movement of people who accompany the goods," said Uganda Speaker of Parliament the Rt. Hon Rebecca KADAGA.

The central goal of the AfCFTA is to boost economies by harmonizing trade liberalization across sub regions and at the continental level. A single common market embracing all African countries is also deemed to accelerate industrial development.

In his closing remarks, PAP President, the Rt. Hon Roger Nkodo DANG said the conference had been an absolute success with fruitful interventions and debates demonstrating PAP's commitment towards the development of Africa.

"At the opening of the conference, we undertook to reflect and have exchanged and looked hard on the issues of interest of our continent. I want to appreciate commitment, enthusiasm and perseverance of each one of you," said the Rt. Hon. Nkodo DANG.