In contest for the top position in African Union Commission, Kenya’s Amina Mohamed and Foreign Affairs Secretary has proposed the abolishing of travel visas across Africa.
Also contesting for the AUC Chairperson are Botswana’s Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Chad’s Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat, Equatorial Guinea’s Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy and Senegal’s Bathily Abdoulaye.
According to Mohamed,
“We need to remove bottlenecks such as visas.”
She says she has the intention of establishing free movement of goods and services across states.
“Industrialization can reduce poverty and create jobs while trade is unifying factor, but we need to fill our infrastructure gaps and facilitate the mobility of people, capital and goods so that our young people can move across borders, exchange ideas, but also find jobs.”
Going further on the interview with CNBC TV, Mohamed said
“The 13 per cent intra-African trade is unacceptable. We should at least reach 30 per cent and eventually aim at 60 per cent.”
“Africa has to stop exporting raw products and jobs while our own young people are unemployed. We need to establish regional value chains. Diversification is crucial in reducing reliance on high oil and commodity prices.”
The border-less Africa scheme has been under gradual implementation for a while now.
Last year in July, African Union introduced the single continental visa intended to grant citizens easy access to all member states.
At the moment the passport is only in possession of heads of state and senior official.
AU hopes that it will be made available for all citizens of the 54 member states by 2020.
Amina Mohamed’s candidature was boosted after a regional bloc supported her bid for the top job. She appears to have the full backing of the Eastern and Southern African countries.
For her deputy, the supporting region is pushing for Djibouti’s Yacin Elmi Bouh.